Pompeo: U.S. seeking diplomatic resolution to Iran tensions

The United States aims to avoid war with Iran.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING:

"President Trump and I are looking for diplomatic resolution to this."

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday told CBS News that recent measures, such as sending U.S. forces to Saudi Arabia and sanctioning Iran's central bank, were meant to deter Tehran.

But he said President Donald Trump would take necessary action if Iran did not change its behavior.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING:

"I don't think anyone should mistake President Trump for having the resolve get this right and when the moment calls for it I am confident the president will will take all appropriate action."

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have further escalated after an attack last weekend on Saudi oil facilities that initially disrupted half of the oil production from the kingdom.

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for the strikes.

Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif on Sunday stridently denied involvement in the attacks, which were claimed by militant fighters in Yemen.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER JAVAD ZARIF, SAYING:

"We are confident that if the United Nations carries out an impartial investigation, the outcome will be that it was not launched from Iran."

The Trump administration has embarked on what it called a "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran.

In apparent response, Iran over the summer seized international freighters and shot down a U.S. drone in the Persian Gulf.

Now it's being blamed for the strikes on the Saudi oil facilities.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CBS FACE THE NATIONS HOST MARGARET BRENNAN ASKING U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO:

BRENNAN: "Why do you think sanctions will be preventative, and not just punitive? Why do you think making Iran more desperate, will get them to act more responsible?"

POMPEO: "It'll deny them the resources to foment the exact kind of strikes that we have seen over this past summer."

Iran has said it sees no point in talks with the U.S. while sanctions remain in place.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP IN RESPONSE TO QUESTION ABOUT WHETHER HE WILL BE MEETING WITH IRANIAN OFFICIALS ON THE SIDELINES OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, SAYING:

"Nothing's ever off the table completely but I have no intention of meeting with Iran."

Trump on Sunday said there were no plans for him to meet with Iranian leaders at the U.N. General Assembly this week.