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Dunford: Iran exerts influence in Iraq, Syria, Yemen by militias

General Joe Dunford
US General Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview with Breaking Defense this week that he hasn’t seen any change in Iran’s behavior.

"The Republican Guard’s Quds Force continues to exert a malign influence in Iraq and Syria through proxy forces and militias, and in Lebanon through Lebanese Hezbollah," Dunford added.
"Iran’s support for [Shiite terrorists] in Yemen has also been unhelpful, and Tehran continues to pose a threat to close allies like Israel and Jordan. So mitigating the malign influence of Iran remains a major US objective in the region," he asserted.

He further added that "In talking about Iran it’s also important to "zero" in on one of the most important issues for the United States, and that’s freedom of navigation in the Straits of Hormuz and the Bab-el-Mandeb." 

Dunford stressed that "By harassing US and international maritime activities in the Persian Gulf and supplying advanced anti-ship cruise missiles to Houthi rebels in Yemen on the Red Sea coast, Iran is posing a threat to two waterways that are absolutely crucial to global commerce. Since the 1970s and [President Jimmy Carter’s ‘Carter Doctrine’], the United States has been committed to keeping those vital waterways open."