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US Does Not Care If Iran Feels ‘Provoked’ By Increased Red Sea Patrols

via CBS News
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Former Admiral John Kirby engaged in a heated exchange with Al Jazeera reporter Kimberly Halkett over the U.S.’s role in escalating tensions in the Red Sea with Iran-backed proxies.

Halkett accused the U.S. of supporting actions that led to an escalation, while Kirby vehemently denied this, emphasizing the defensive posture of the U.S. and placing responsibility on Iran and its proxies for any escalation.

The exchange revolved around differing perspectives on the U.S.’s actions and their impact on the situation in the region. (Trending: Pro Sport Announces Shock Decision On Transgender Athletes)

“You said the United States doesn’t want a second front. And you also said that Israel has a right and responsibility to go after Hamas leadership,” said Halkett.

“But isn’t the United States and the president — aren’t they exactly widening and escalating this, given the fact that the U.S. is supporting chasing Hamas leadership outside of Gaza? I mean, the fact that it’s going into Lebanon, a sovereign nation.”

“Again, your question is presuming an awful lot and is presuming that I said things I didn’t say. I’m not …” Kirby started before being interrupted.

“I have it right here,” said Halkett.

“I’m not confirming that the — that the Israelis took this airstrike. I would refer you to them to speak to their military operations,” said Kirby.

“They haven’t denied it,” said Halkett.

“They have a right and a responsibility to go after Hamas leadership, and we expect that they’ll do that in accordance with international law,” said Kirby.

“So, let me follow-up on that then. Given the Red Sea patrols, we knew in advance of those being set up that the Iranian defense minister said very clearly, ‘Nobody can make a move in a region where we have predominance.’ The United States knew that, set it up anyway. Is that not being seen as a provocation? If you know that Iran sees that as a provocation, you take the action anyway,” said Halkett.

“Wow. Well, that’s certainly turning things on their — upside down, isn’t it? Wouldn’t — wouldn’t you consider a provocation the launching of ballistic missiles and drones at commercial —” said Kirby.

“Well, the United States —” Halkett interjected.

“Wait, wait, wait. Let me —” Kirby started.

“— doesn’t have soil there,” said Halkett.

“Let me finish. Wouldn’t that be considered a provocation, taking — targeting innocent merchant shipping and innocent merchant sailors? That’s a provocation,” said Kirby.

“But it’s led to an escalation, because, in turn, what has happened is —” contended Halkett.

“No ma’am. No ma’am,” said Kirby,

“So, you’re denying, then, that there has been an escalation since the Red Sea patrol?” asked Halkett.

“I totally disagree with the premise of your question,” Kirby replied. “The Houthis did that. And who are the Houthis backed by? Iran. As I’ve said before, Iran provided the missiles that the Houthis are using,” Kirby repeated.

“We are simply in a defensive posture to try to protect that commercial shipping, and we have in the last 48 hours,” he added.

“And since then, there’s been an escalation. Now, Iran has launched a frigate into that. So, there has been escalation,” said Halkett, again.

“Okay, again, let me stop you. The fact that they —” Kirby began.

“So, has the United — I ask you again: Has the United States’ actions supported an escalation as a result?” asked Halkett.

“No,” Kirby answered.

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This article was originally published at Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak,...