GOP lawmaker on Iran tensions: Military should always be 'the last option'

Rep. Tim BurchettTimothy (Tim) Floyd BurchettHouse Republican: Tariffs are 'only way' to change US-China relationship GOP lawmaker on Iran tensions: Military should always be 'the last option' The Hill's Morning Report - Giuliani subpoenaed as Trump rages against Schiff, whistleblower MORE (R-Tenn.) expressed hope for President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE’s ability to negotiate a peace deal in the Middle East, adding that military action should be a last resort.

“I’m hoping that his negotiations are working out,” Burchett, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Hill.TV during an interview that aired on Tuesday. 

“But if they don’t, military is always the last option,” he continued. “My dad used to say, ‘Old men make decisions, and young men die’ and I don’t want that decision at all.”

Burchett added that he thinks the ongoing conflict in the region is ultimately about oil and the U.S. should start developing its own energy sources instead of having to rely on the Middle East for oil production.

“At some point, we’ve got to say, ‘we’ve got to develop our energy in this country — let's start looking at alternatives,’ ” he said, adding that the U.S. should also be investing in carbon-capturing technologies. “Until we do that, we’re still going to be in these wars.”

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have escalated in recent months following attacks on two Saudi oil facilities.

The Trump administration has blamed Iran for a Sept. 14 drone attack on the Saudi oil reserves, calling the attacks an “act of war,” though Tehran has denied any responsibility.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels based in Yemen later took credit for the bombing, which temporary knocked out about 5 percent of the global world supply and roiled markets.

In response to the bombings, Trump last month approved the deployment of additional U.S. troops and missile defense equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UA).

The Trump administration also slapped new sanctions on Iran’s central bank. But, so far, the president has been hesitant to commit to any additional military engagement.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, meanwhile, warned during an interview over the weekend that a war between his country and Iran would result in a “total collapse of the global economy.”

He also dismissed the motives behind the attacks on Saudi oil sites as an act of "stupidity." 

— Tess Bonn