WASHINGTON — The top uniformed U.S. military officer told Congress Tuesday that Iran is directly jeopardizing peace in Iraq, prompting fresh calls from senators that the U.S. pursue diplomatic talks with Tehran.
Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that “irresponsible actions” by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard “directly jeopardize” peace in Iraq.
“Restraint in our response does not signal lack of resolve or capability to defend ourselves against threats,” Mullen told the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee.
Sen. Arlen Specter, a member of the panel, said he is most concerned about the Bush administration’s refusal to fully engage Iran in diplomatic discussions. U.S. diplomats have met with Iranian officials as part of a broader regional conference on Iraq, but insisted that discussions be limited to Iraq.