US Defense Chief Stresses Diplomacy on Iran

US Defense Chief Stresses Diplomacy on IranUS Defense Chief Stresses Diplomacy on Iran

US Defense Secretary James Mattis said on Friday he does not see the need for a stepped-up military posture against Iran, the day after a top diplomat claimed evidence shows Tehran is supporting Houthi fighters in Yemen.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Thursday presented missile fragments and other military gear that she alleged came from Iran and had been used against US ally Saudi Arabia, AFP reported.

Asked if he thought such evidence warranted an emboldened or expanded military response from the US, Mattis told Pentagon reporters, “Not militarily, no. It’s the reason Ambassador Haley was there and not one of our generals. This is a diplomatically-led effort to expose to the world what Iran is up to.”

Mattis also criticized Iran for supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance group.

What Iran is “doing right now is illegal, is contributing to the deaths of innocent people”, Mattis contended.

“To expose what they are doing is healthy for the international community for their awareness of what’s going on there.”

Haley on Wednesday claimed that a missile fired on Nov. 4 from Yemen toward Riyadh airport had been made in Iran. However, the US allegation has not been confirmed by UN inspectors.


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