U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper asserted that “the Iranian regime continues to want to spread its malign activities throughout the region. They want to continue to send out the Quds Force and others to… cause problems throughout the region. We know that, in one way, shape or form, they’re resourcing, directing, approving of whatever operations for Shiite militia groups in Iraq that are targeting American forces”. He further indicated that “I feel deep concern for the Iranian people [amidst the COVID-19 pandemic]. The important thing is that the Iranian government should focus on them and stop this malign behaviour that they’ve been conducting now for over 40 years. I think the entire region, and certainly the Iranian people, would be better off for it”.
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