The US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid has said that the Iranian Regime meddles in nearly every country in the Middle East via “various militias that are under Iranian control”.
Abizaid told Al Arabiya during an interview: “The Iranians are always ready to have somebody else fight their fight. You see it with Hezbollah in Lebanon, you see it with the various militias that are under Iranian control in Iraq, you see it with the Houthis, unfortunately, in Yemen.”
He then explained that this doesn’t strengthen the Iranian position in any way because these actions – “sowing difficulty, causing terrorism, building opportunity to damage places” – only detracts from Iran’s greatness.
Abizaid said: “Our problem is not with the Iranian people, our problem is with these policies that bring terrorism to places that don’t need to have terrorism, that don’t allow us to move towards a better future, that don’t allow there to be a peaceful understanding between nations.”
Abizaid said that the U.S. is willing to talk to the Iranian regime, but that Tehran had to “first stop their meddling in nearly every country in the region”.
He said: “They make money, the [Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps] IRGC Quds Force makes money off of chaos, and this is not good for the people in the region. It feeds extremism, it works against everything we’re trying to stop.”
This comes as tension keeps rising between the US and Iran, following the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal last May. The US has reimposed sanctions against the Iranian regime’s major industries, specifically oil and petrochemicals. They’ve also imposed sanctions against several of those responsible for the worst violations of national sovereignty, including the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
The Iranian regime has responded with threats to close the key shipping lane, the Strait of Hormuz, where the majority of oil is transported through. It has also carried out several attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. The regime also shot down an unmanned U.S. drone over international waters above the Gulf.