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James Mattis Calls Iran ‘Biggest Destabilizing Force’ in Region

 President-elect Donald J. Trump’s choice for defense secretary, Gen. James N. Mattis, has told Congress that Iran is the “biggest destabilizing force in the Middle East” and that the United States needs to forge a strategy to “checkmate Iran’s goal for regional hegemony.”

 

The retired Marine general provided his written responses on an array of policy questions to the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is meeting Thursday morning to take up his nomination for defense secretary, as well as to consider the legal waiver that would be needed so that he could serve in the Pentagon’s top civilian job.

 

Military officers are barred by law from serving as defense secretary unless they have been retired for seven years. General Mattis left active duty in May 2013.

 

On some issues, General Mattis appeared to take a starker view of the dangers faced by the United States than Mr. Trump. 

 

Click here to read the highlights of the hearing.