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Sen. Kaine: No reason for US to 'engage in military action to protect Saudi oil'
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) on Wednesday cautioned against the prospect of war with Iran over accusations that the country was behind a recent attack on Saudi oil facilities, saying it is up to the Saudis to defend themselves.
In an appearance on CNN's "New Day," Kaine remarked that there was no reason for the U.S. to get involved in defending Saudi Arabia's energy interests from attacks possibly carried out by Iranian-backed forces.
"There is absolutely no reason for the U.S. to go to war or engage in military action to protect Saudi oil, and a war based on some fundamental mistruths the administration is promoting," he told CNN. "Let the Saudis defend themselves."
"They're going around saying that the attack was 'unprovoked,' " Kaine added, when questioned what "mistruths" the administration was spreading. "The U.S. is provoking Iran. We were in a diplomatic deal with them that allowed them to sell their oil. We pulled out of that deal."
"You don't have to like [Iran], but we are provoking them," he continued.
Kaine's comments come as the Trump administration points the finger at Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen and nearby areas for carrying out attacks over the weekend targeting Saudi oil facilities, eventually causing the temporary shutdown of about half of the country's oil production.
The attacks follow weeks of tensions between the U.S. and Iran after the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone earlier this year as well as attacks on oil tankers in the region that the Trump administration has also argued were carried out by Iranian forces.