U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter warns of Iran's ''maligned activity'' in the Middle East saying American troops are a deterrent to Iran in the region. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said on Saturday (April 16) that Iran is exercising a "maligned influence" in the Middle East against which U.S. troops are serving as a deterrent. Speaking to U.S. troops stationed at Al Dhafra Air Base in Abu Dhabi, Carter said the recent nuclear deal with Iran was positive but did not rule Iran out as a threat. "We have the nuclear deal with Iran, which is a good deal in the sense that it took the nuclear weapons out of the picture, provided it's implements and all of that, and we're watching that. But that doesn't take Iran out of the picture, and the possibility of either outright aggression or the kind of malign activity that you see them exercising in the region that a lot of our friends and partners including our hosts here and other in the regions are concerned about," he said. Carter, who also spoke about the need to destroy the Islamic State, said U.S. troops were in the region to back up U.S. allies. "So you too are part of the system of deterrents and countering Iran's malign influence in the region, standing tall with our friends," he said. The U.S. Secretary of Defense is in the gulf region to talk with leaders in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries about the fight against Islamic State militants and other defense issues. U.S. President Barack Obama will attend a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council on Thursday, and Carter will meet his counterparts just before the summit, on Wednesday, according to the White House.