National Security Council spokesman John Kirby got into a heated exchange with a reporter who questioned whether the United States had provoked Iran with its naval presence in the Middle East.
The correspondent, who works with Al Jazeera, noted that the United States escalated the conflict between Israel and Hamas by deploying naval forces to confront attacks launched by Iranian-backed proxy groups on cargo ships.
She began by saying: “Looking at the Red Sea patrols, we knew in advance about those that would be established, as the Iranian Defense Minister said very clearly: ‘No one can move in an area where we enjoy dominance.’”
She added: “The United States knew this, and orchestrated it anyway.” “Isn’t this a provocation? If you know that Iran considers this a provocation, you should take action anyway.”
Kirby clearly wasn't amused by that statement Iran The attacks escalated by attacking commercial ships in the area, which Reuters described as “support for the Palestinians subject to Israel's siege in Gaza.”
“Awesome,” Kirby told the reporter. “Well, that sure turns things around, doesn't it?”
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Kirby gets heated with the reporter
The Al Jazeera correspondent did not abandon Kirby and her assertion that the White House had provoked Iran in some way, in an attempt to clarify that “the United States has no soil there.”
“Let me finish,” Kirby interrupted. Isn't that a provocation, targeting innocent merchant ships and innocent merchant sailors? “This is a provocation.”
“I am asking you this question,” she responded, further insisting that US actions in the Red Sea “led to escalation.”
“No, ma’am.” “No, ma’am,” Kirby replied. “I completely disagree with the premise of your question.”
It was not the United States that decided to attack merchant ships in the Red Sea. The Houthis did that. Who are the Houthis who support them? Iran. He continued: “As I said before, Iran provided the missiles used by the Houthis.” “We are simply on the defensive to try to protect commercial shipping, and we have done that over the last 48 hours.”
Undeterred, the reporter cited examples of rising tensions and went after Kirby again.
I ask you again: Did the actions of the United States support escalation as a result? I demanded.
Kirby responded, “No. You asked me a question, ma'am. I answered it. No.”
At this point, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre intervened to stop the reporter and question her.
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Kirby supports the military's push for abortions
Kirby hasn't been this spirited since he launched an impassioned defense of funding abortions in the military last summer.
“Our policies – whether they are about diversity, inclusion and equality; Or whether it is about transgender individuals who are physically and mentally qualified to work and are able to do so with dignity; “Or whether it's female soldiers — one in five — or female family members being able to rely on the types of health care and reproductive care specifically they need to serve,” Kirby said at the time.
“This is a fundamental and sacred obligation of military commanders across the river,” Kirby added, pounding the podium repeatedly to emphasize his point.
Last week saw reports of an Israeli airstrike on a drone base in Iran and the assassination of a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander.
A bomb attack in southern Iran on Wednesday killed 84 people and injured many others.
Tensions are rising and the Biden administration appears unwilling to calm the situation.
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