Iranian-backed groups raise threat of drawing U.S. into a wider Middle East conflict

Since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack and Israel’s military response in Gaza, Iranian-backed militias in the region have escalated attacks. Hezbollah and the IDF have traded barrages while the Houthis have lobbed missiles and attacked ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Amna Nawaz discussed Iran’s objectives and influence with Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Read the Full Transcript Notice: Transcripts are machine and human generated and lightly edited for accuracy. They may contain errors. Aman Nawaz: The U.S. Consulate in Irbil in Northern Iraq came under fire tonight, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps claimed responsibility, according to Iranian state media. It’s just the latest in a series of attacks by Iranian and Iranian-backed militia across the region since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7 and Israel launched its response in Gaza. Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Israel Defense Forces have traded barrages, while the Houthis in Yemen have lobbed missiles toward Israel and continue attacking ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. For more on Iran’s objectives and influence, we turn now to Karim Sadjadpour, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. So, Karim, before we get into the details of some of these groups and their relationship with Iran, just broadly speaking, what’s Iran’s objective? What’s the strategy here in the use of these proxy militias? Karim Sadjadpour, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: It’s an important question, Amna. I would argue, since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, there have been very few governments in the world that have had a more clear and consistent grand strategy over the last four or five decades. And there’s essentially three pillars to that strategy. Number one, Iran is intent on evicting the United States from the Middle East. Number two, […]

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