Mattis says Iran regime is ‘trying to craft a foreign policy that pushes others around’
Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said on Sunday that Iran is “trying to craft a foreign policy that pushes others around” throughout the Middle East.
Mattis told ABC’s “This Week” that Tehran has followed a pattern of stretching its “destabilizing influence” across the region to ensure it reaches “revolutionary fervor.”
“They want to look like the leader, and they’re trying to craft a foreign policy that pushes others around,” he said. “And this is the same thing they’ve been doing for many, many years — not the Iranian people, but the Iranian regime.”
The former Pentagon chief said that Iran has increased its attacks because it feels “under pressure,” and the country will “react the way they’ve always reacted.”
“This is their modus operandi,” he said. “There’s nothing new here.”
Mattis emphasized the need to convince allies to stand by the United States to ensure Iran doesn’t continue to destabilize the Middle East.
“This is a situation whose best possible outcome will come from a coalition of nations that want a stable the Middle East, and that has to be our goal to stabilize this situation as soon as possible,” he said.
He added that the United States should “use every diplomatic and economic means” before taking military action.
“The world needs this, the economy, the world’s economy needs it, and certainly the people in that region don’t need Iran to be continuing this kind of behavior,” Mattis said.
Tensions between Iran and the United States have increased after U.S. officials have indicated an attack on two major Saudi oil refineries could be traced to Tehran.
President Trump has since announced the United States will send troops and equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The administration also implemented new sanctions on Iran’s central bank, following the Saudi attacks.
Trump’s relationship with Iran has been strained since pulling out of the Obama-era nuclear deal last year.
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