NSC Spokesman John Kirby Snaps At Reporter Who Suggested US Has Escalated Tensions In The Middle East

NSC spokesman John Kirby got into a heated exchange with a reporter who questioned whether the United States has provoked Iran with its naval presence in the Middle East.
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National Security Council (NSC) spokesman John Kirby got into a heated exchange with a reporter who questioned whether the United States has provoked Iran with its naval presence in the Middle East.

The reporter, who is with Al Jazeera, suggested that the U.S. has escalated the Israel-Hamas conflict by deploying naval forces to counter attacks by Iran-backed proxy groups on shipping vessels.

“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,’” she began.

“The United States knew that, set it up anyway,” she added. “Is that not being seen as a provocation? If you know that Iran sees that as a provocation, you take the action anyway.”

Kirby was clearly not amused, stating that Iran had escalated by attacking merchant ships in the region that Reuters described as being “in support of Palestinians under siege by Israel in Gaza.”

“Wow,” Kirby said to the reporter. “Well, that’s certainly turning things on their — upside down, isn’t it?”

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Kirby Gets Heated With Reporter

The Al Jazeera reporter would not let up on Kirby and her assertion that the White House has provoked Iran in some manner, attempting to explain that “the United States doesn’t have soil there.”

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

“I’m asking you the question,” she countered, further insisting the U.S.’ actions in the Red Sea have “led to an escalation.”

“No ma’am. No ma’am,” Kirby fired back. “I totally disagree with the premise of your question.”

“It wasn’t the United States who decided to attack commercial shipping in the Red Sea. 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,” he continued. “We are simply in a defensive posture to try to protect that commercial shipping, and we have in the last 48 hours.”

Undeterred, the reporter cited examples of growing tensions and went after Kirby once more.

“I ask you again: Has the United States’ actions supported an escalation as a result?” she demanded.

Kirby shot back, “No. You asked me a question, ma’am. I answered it. No.”

It was at this point that White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stepped in to stop the reporter and her line of questioning.

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Kirby Supports The Military Paying For Abortions

Kirby hasn’t quite been this animated since he launched an impassioned defense of funding abortions in the military this past summer.

“Our policies — whether they’re diversity, inclusion, and equity; or whether they’re about transgender individuals who qualify physically and mentally to serve to be able to do it with dignity; or whether it’s about female servicemembers — one in five — or female family members being able to count on the kinds of healthcare and reproductive care specifically that they need to serve,” Kirby said at the time.

“That is a foundational, sacred obligation of military leaders across the river,” Kirby added, pounding the podium repeatedly to emphasize his point.

This past week saw reports of an Israeli airstrike on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) base in Iran and the assassination of a senior IRGC commander.

A bomb attack in southern Iran on Wednesday killed 84 people and wounded many more.

Tensions are mounting and the Biden administration seems unwilling to de-escalate the situation.

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Rusty Weiss has been covering politics for over 15 years. His writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, Fox... More about Rusty Weiss

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