Pompeo at Centcom: 'Trump does not want war' with Iran

Pompeo at Centcom: 'Trump does not want war' with Iran
© Kevin Dietsch for The Hill

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo blasts media coverage of Trump foreign policy The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by JobsOhio - Trump's tax return bombshell US says it will leave Baghdad embassy if Iraq doesn't rein in attacks: report MORE said President TrumpDonald John TrumpCensus Bureau intends to wrap up count on Oct. 5 despite judge's order Top House Republican calls for probe of source of NYT Trump tax documents New Yorkers report receiving ballots with wrong name, voter addresses MORE does not want war with Iran, but that the administration wants to protect U.S. interests.

Pompeo made the statement while speaking to reporters after a closed-door meeting at the U.S. Central Command (Centcom) headquarters in Florida. 

"We are there to deter aggression. President Trump does not want war," Pompeo said Tuesday, according to videos posted of his remarks. "We will continue to communicate that message while doing the things that are necessary to protect American interests in the region."


He also said there were issues with Iran of beyond the attacks on two oil tankers that he has blamed on Tehran, saying there have been other recent attacks, some of which were thwarted, in recent weeks.  

"We shouldn't focus on just those two attacks. Since the beginning of May, there are now over a half-dozen different instances of Iranian attacks in the region," he said. 

Pompeo also noted that other countries such as China are dependent on the Strait of Hormuz, where the tankers were attacked, for their own interests. 

"The United States is prepared to do its part, but every nation that has a deep interest in protecting that shipping lane so that energy can move around the world and support their economies needs to make sure they understand the real threat," he said. 

Ahead of his remarks, Pompeo met with Commander Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie and Special Forces Commander Lt. General Richard Clarke at the Centcom headquarters in Tampa, according to CBS News.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have escalated following the attacks on the oil tankers. 

The administration announced Monday that it would send 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East for defensive reasons.