Iran is creating and arming a powerful network of proxies in countries like Syria, Yemen, and Iraq, U.S. national security adviser H.R. McMaster said on February 17.
"What’s particularly concerning is that this network of proxies is becoming more and more capable, as Iran seeds more and more...destructive weapons into these networks," McMaster told the annual Munich Security Conference.
"So the time is now, we think, to act against Iran," he said.
McMaster also said that, despite denials, public reports show that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was using chemical weapons, calling on the international community to hold the Syrian government accountable.
"Public accounts and photos clearly show that Assad's chemical weapons use is continuing," McMaster said, although he did not specify which public accounts or pictures he was referring to.
The Syrian government has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons.
In recent weeks, rescue workers, aid groups and the United States have accused Syria of repeatedly using chlorine gas as a weapon against civilians in Ghouta and Idlib.