Envoy: U.S. to contest Iran activities in region
BEIRUT >> Washington will focus on pressuring Iran financially and contesting its activities in Syria, Iraq and Yemen where the Persian nation enjoys broad influence, the U.S. envoy to Syria said Wednesday, adding that Tehran should eventually withdraw all Iran-commanded forces from Syria.
Ambassador James Jeffrey told a group of journalists via a telephone conference that Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that President Donald Trump pulled America out of in May had a bad effect on Iran’s behavior that “accelerated its activities.”
Iran enjoys influence in several countries in the region where it backs wellarmed militias that are deployed in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. Speaking about Iran’s future in Syria, Jeffrey said: “Iranians are part of the problem not part of the solution.”
Jeffrey said the Trump administration is now focusing on putting financial pressure on Iran and “secondly contesting more actively Iran’s activities particularly in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.”