Mattis in Riyadh: Wherever there’s trouble in Mideast, you find Iran
US Defense Secretary James Mattis said Wednesday in Riyadh after his talks with Saudi King Salman and other senior officials that "Everywhere you look, if there's trouble in the region, you find Iran". The US is considering boosting its military aid to Saudi Arabia, which is fighting Houthi rebels on its southern border with Yemen, in order to bring the rebels to the negotiating table and end the Yemeni conflict. The additional aid is said to include ground and aerial intelligence, tactical and strategic advice, and precision bombs, but not US troops on Saudi or Yemeni soil. Iran trains the Houthi rebels and provides them with weapons including medium-range and long-range missiles that even threaten Riyadh.
Meanwhile, at a press conference in Washington, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson slammed Iran for supporting the Houthi rebels, threatening the freedom of shipping in the Persian Gulf, carrying out cyberattacks on the US, and helping the Syrian regime slaughter its own people. He also said Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism.