Mike Pence to Iran: U.S. Military Is 'Locked and Loaded' After Saudi Oil Strike

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence assured conservatives at the Heritage Foundation that the U.S. military is "ready" to fight Iran after a drone strike destroyed about 5 percent of the world's oil supply in Saudi Arabia. While Houthi rebels in Yemen took responsibility for the attack, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran. Iran has not taken responsibility for it.

Pence said the U.S. is investigating the attack to determine any connection with Iran. He assured the audience that the military is prepared to go to war with Iran if necessary.

"Under President Trump’s leadership, we’ve been working to make the strongest military in the history of the world stronger still," the vice president declared. He referenced the recent budget deal, securing $738 billion, what he called the "largest increase in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan."

"We’ve restored the arsenal of democracy," he added. "We are finally again giving our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard the resources they need to accomplish their mission and keep our nation safe."

Under Trump, "our armed forces have taken the fight to our enemies on our terms on their soil. We secured freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, we brought North Korea to the negotiating table, and our armed forces captured the last inch of territory controlled by the ISIS caliphate earlier this year."

"Our active-duty personnel are now the best-equipped, best-trained, and most technologically-advanced fighting force in the history of the world, and in the wake of this weekend’s unprovoked attack on several oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, I promise you, we’re ready," Pence declared.

"As the president said, we don't want war with anybody. But the United States is prepared, we're locked and loaded. And we're ready to defend our interests and our allies in the region. Count on it."

Iran's connection remains to be proven, and even if it can be proven, the U.S. may not respond militarily.

"Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world, and it's the greatest threat to peace and security in the Middle East," Pence added.

The vice president praised Trump for reversing the disastrous Iran Nuclear deal, and insisted that the administration is applying a "maximum pressure campaign against the regime in Tehran."

"If Iran conducted this latest attack to pressure President Trump to back off, they will fail," the vice president declared.

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