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
© Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegInfrastructure deal imperiled by differences on financing Biden says he and GOP both 'sincere about' seeking infrastructure compromise The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Colonial pays hackers as service is restored 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 StephanopoulosFauci: 'Other countries need to chip in' to help India Harris: I don't think America is a racist country, but we need to speak truth about history Biden meets with TV anchors ahead of joint address MORE on ABC's "This Week" that Iran has acted "predictably" after President TrumpDonald TrumpVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected Biden meets with DACA recipients on immigration reform Overnight Health Care: States begin lifting mask mandates after new CDC guidance | Walmart, Trader Joe's will no longer require customers to wear masks | CDC finds Pfizer, Moderna vaccines 94 percent effective in health workers 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 PompeoMike PompeoUS Olympic Committee urges Congress not to boycott Games in China Pompeo on CIA recruitment: We can't risk national security to appease 'liberal, woke agenda' DNC gathers opposition research on over 20 potential GOP presidential candidates 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."