Buttigieg: Not too late for US to be 'constructive force' in Middle East

Buttigieg: Not too late for US to be 'constructive force' in Middle East
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Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegLGBTQ voters must show up at the polls, or risk losing progress Buttigieg says it's time to 'turn the page' on Trump administration Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus cases surge in the Midwest; Trump hits campaign trail after COVID-19 MORE said Sunday that the United States needs to focus on deescalating conflicts in the Middle East, after two Saudi oil refineries were struck by drones this weekend. 

The South Bend, Ind. mayor told George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosAll fracked up: Biden's Keystone State breakdown The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters Pelosi: White House made 'unacceptable changes' to testing language during negotiations on coronavirus stimulus MORE on ABC's "This Week" that Iran has acted "predictably" after President TrumpDonald John TrumpFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought '9/11 attack was 7/11 attack' MORE removed the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal. 


"We’re moving in the wrong direction, but it’s not too late for us to be a constructive force toward peace and stability in the region," Buttigieg said.

Buttigieg also said he thinks the United States is not using its "leverage" effectively in the relationships with Saudi Arabia and Iran to achieve stability. 

"We have leverage with the Saudis because of our alliance and have had leverage with Iran," he said. "The problem is we’re either taking our own options off the table or not using them well."

His comments come after Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoArmenia and Azerbaijan say they will implement ceasefire agreement Monday Entire Nigerian police force mobilized after days of violent protests that have killed at least 69 Hillicon Valley: Treasury sanctions Russian group accused of targeting critical facilities | Appeals court rules Uber, Lyft must comply with labor laws | Biden: Countries that target US elections will 'pay a price' MORE late Saturday blamed Tehran for the attacks on the Saudi oil plants. Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attacks amid a civil war in their country. Saudi Arabia is driving the movement, supported by the United States, against the rebels, who are supported by Iran. 


Buttigieg said on Sunday that the U.S. should deescalate conflict that causes "not only danger to world oil supply but danger to peace."

"Right now, there is more than enough destabilizing the Middle East and the Persian Gulf without fears that a president could destabilize it further with the next tweet," the South Bend mayor said. "We need to make sure that we create options to prevent things from escalating further and since this appears to be spillover from the Yemen conflict."