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As he has in past briefings of Congress, Gen. Petraeus warned of Iran’s continuing destabilizing influence in the region.

“It persists in its nontransparent pursuit of nuclear technology and continues to fund, train and arm dangerous militia organizations,” he said. “Iran’s activities have been particularly harmful in Iraq, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, and Afghanistan. In each location, Tehran has, to varying degrees, fueled proxy wars in an effort to increase its influence and pursue its regional ambitions.”

The generals nevertheless gave a reassuring but reserved assessment on the prospect for success in Iraq.