White House says US policy has weakened Iran

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WASHINGTON (AP) — National Security Adviser Tom Donilon says Iran has been weakened under the Obama administration, rebutting Republican critics who say the White House policy has been ineffective.

Donilon spoke just hours before a scheduled foreign policy debate by GOP presidential candidates.

He told experts at the Brookings Institution on Tuesday that Iran’s influence is shrinking across the Middle East, including in neighboring Iraq, due to international sanctions, the revolts of the Arab Spring and what he called Tehran’s “intransigence.”

Donilon’s comments came two weeks after the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog found that Iran had engaged in nuclear weapons research and one day after the U.S. expanded sanctions to include Iran’s petrochemical industry and central bank.