The Obama administration is facing mounting criticism that it is deliberately downplaying Iran’s role in ongoing atrocities in Syria in order to avoid endangering the nuclear deal, a characterization the administration has rejected but that experts and journalists continue to wage.
An exchange between State Department spokesperson John Kirby and reporters at Wednesday’s regular press briefing became heated after Associated Press reporter Bradley Klapper suggested that the administration has spent months minimizing Iran’s role in Syria. Kirby rejected that characterization.
“It did seem you did downplay in the last few weeks and months Iran’s influence on this war, but today you’re saying Iran-based militias were responsible for breaking or preventing this ceasefire from ever taking hold,” Klapper said. “Why have you been so quiet on the role of Iran?”
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