At a press conference in Tokyo US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said Iran was “the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world” (AFP Photo/Toru YAMANAKA)
Iran ‘biggest state sponsor of terrorism’: Mattis
Tokyo (AFP) – US Defense Secretary James Mattis said Saturday that Iran was the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism, as President Donald Trump slapped fresh sanctions on the country’s weapons procurement network.
“As far as Iran goes, this is the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world,” Mattis said at a press conference in Tokyo, but added that the US had no plans to increase troop numbers in the Middle East in response.
“It does no good to ignore it. It does no good to dismiss it and at the same time I don’t see any need to increase the number of forces we have in the Middle East at this time,” he said.
“We always have the capability to do so but right now I don’t think it’s necessary.”
US officials said that the new sanctions, announced on Friday, were in response to Iran’s ballistic missile test this week and its support for Huthi rebels in Yemen, who recently targeted a Saudi warship.