James Jones: Iran serves as agitator in Mideast turmoil

April 3, 2011 18:29

Former Obama adviser tells CNN "you can bet Iran is affecting virtually everything, playing in every country where we have difficulties."

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JAMES JONES addresses the Herzliya Conference

James Jones 311. (photo credit: Yotam From)

Former national security adviser to US President Barack Obama, James Jones, warned of Tehran's role in uprisings in the Middle East, saying "you can bet that Iran is affecting virtually everything and trying to play in every one of these countries where we’re having some difficulties … Iran is out there agitating things.” Jones made the comments in an interview with CNN aired on Sunday.

“(Iran) is flying under the radar right now because, you know, you don’t hear too much about their nuclear program because everyone else is focused elsewhere,” Jones stated.

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He added that chaos reigning in the region is something the Iranian government is "reasonably happy with."

Jones expressed worry about unrest in Yemen and President Ali Abdullah Saleh losing control over the country.

“The danger is that Yemen now will become a safe haven for terrorist organizations like al Qaida,” Jones said. “I think proactive engagement is much more economical than waiting until it, you know metastasizes, then you have another Afghanistan or something like that. The good news is I think we know a lot about where these organizations are going. The question is what do we do about it and when.”

Jones also addressed the situation in Libya saying that the international coalition cannot leave the country until Muammar Gaddafi is out of power.

He stated that a transition must be made from the current humanitarian mission to an operation that would prevent Gaddafi from staying in control of Libya.

Click for full Jpost coverage of turmoil in the Middle East

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