As the war drums beat following a drone attack on oil fields in Saudi Arabia, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is one of the lone voices of reason in urging the U.S. not to respond in the region.
Paul believes that the U.S. should stay out of the mess entirely, making the case to reporters on the One America News Network (OAN) that the Saudis are well-equipped to fend off threats from Iran or wherever else.
“If you add Saudi Arabia’s military budget to all their allies, all these Gulf sheikdoms that surround Saudi Arabia, they spend eight times more on military than Iran, so they’re more than capable I think of holding off Iran, retaliating against Iran,” Paul said.
“It doesn’t — you know that’s the real question, why does it always have to be the U.S.? Why do we always have to get involved?” Paul added.
Paul lamented that the recent attack has lessened the possibility for diplomatic talks to emerge, as President Trump has tapped the Kentucky lawmaker as a liaison for peace in the region. Paul has long advocated for peace in Yemen and avoiding a war with Iran.
“I’ve been an advocate of trying to find a diplomatic way to come to a resolution of the Yemeni civil war where you got Saudi Arabia on one side and you got Iran on the other side sort of fighting a proxy war in Yemen,” Paul explained.
“And now there’s been this attack on the Saudi oil fields and been quite disruptive, and it looks to be an escalation of things. Ya know, it doesn’t look like we are going more toward diplomacy,” he added.
The Trump administration and their Saudi allies have attributed the attack to Iran, but have not provided any evidence to the public to back up their claims.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif insists that his nation had nothing to do with the attacks, and it was the Houthis of Yemen who have taken responsibility as they push back against the Saudis in a civil war that has laid waste to their country.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) September 19, 2019
The Houthis have announced they will be ceasing attacks on Saudi Arabia for the foreseeable future in an attempt to cool tensions.
“We declare ceasing to target the Saudi Arabian territory with military drones, ballistic missiles and all other forms of weapons, and we wait for a reciprocal move from them,” said Mahdi al-Mashat, head of the Houthi’s supreme political council, on al-Masirah TV.
“We reserve the right to respond if they fail to reciprocate positively to this initiative,” he added, hoping that the ceasefire will “preserve the blood of Yemenis and achieve a general amnesty.
The Saudis continue to push for international involvement in order to create a large-scale war, which is evident from the words of Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Aljubeir.
Complacency with the Iranian regime will only encourage it to commit more acts of terrorism and sabotage in our region and around the world.
— Adel Aljubeir عادل الجبير (@AdelAljubeir) September 19, 2019
Paul certainly has his work cut out for him to keep the U.S. from being drawn into a war with Iran.