On March 1, Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said
the U.S. military did not detect an Iranian role in the massive anti-regime
protests in Bahrain.
"We are seeing no indications of any credible influence from Teheran in
that regard," Mullen told a Pentagon briefing.
But in testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee on March 2, Ms.
Clinton outlined Iranian intervention in Arab states. She said Hizbullah was
assigned by Iran to relay orders to regime opponents in such countries
as Bahrain, Oman and Yemen.
"They are doing everything they can to influence the outcomes in these
places," Ms. Clinton said. "They are using Hizbullah to communicate with
The secretary's testimony came after a longtime U.S. assessment that
Shi'ite unrest in Bahrain and Yemen were not connected to Iran. Officials
said the U.S. intelligence community had long argued that Shi'ites in these
two Gulf Arab states were motivated by official discrimination.
In Egypt, Iran was said to have been using Hamas to relay orders to the
opposition. She pointed to Hamas's strong ties to Egypt's Muslim
"They in turn communicate with counterparts in Egypt," Ms. Clinton said.