Some of us in U.S. military have a unique perspective on Iran from our time in Iraq. As the coalition commander there, I saw firsthand how Iran used terror to foment and sustain the sectarian violence that in 2005 and 2006 resulted in the death of hundreds of coalition forces and thousands of Iraqis. And so, I firmly believe that this regime will continue to be a profound destabilizing force in the region and around the world as long as it remains in power.
Here’s what I saw during my time in Iraq. I saw Iran buy political influence through financial payments to Iraqi political parties and political leaders. I saw them buy public support through economic assistance to communities in the southern part of the country. I saw them use terror to provide training to Iraqi Shia militias. What I’m saying is not supposition, we had the facts. We had hard evidence about the weapons and technologies that they were bringing into the country. We had hard evidence of the militia training camps that they had in Iran. And we had hard evidence of Qods Force presence in Iraq.
The Qods Force was then and is now a terrorist organization. And it is used by Iran to meddle in and destabilize countries around the region. They’re at it today in Iraq, in Syria, in Yemen, and in Lebanon. The Iranian regime is not going to change, and it’s going to be a destabilizing force in the region and around the world until it is removed from power.
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