State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Thursday cautioned against Iran's participation in the rebuilding of Iraq, warning that "where Iran goes, trouble tends to follow."
Nauert's comment came in response to a reporter's question at a State Department press briefing.
A reporter first asked Nauert about the U.S. role in Iraq's reconstruction.
Nauert explained that the U.S. is not going to focus on large-scale projects; instead, it will work on getting neighboring countries involved in the process.
The reporter then noted that Iran's deputy foreign minister said the Islamic Republic will contribute to Iraq's reconstruction and asked for Nauert's reaction.
"They [Iran] have been trying to gain more of a toehold, certainly in the region, and in other places as well," Nauert said. "I think we have been consistent in saying where Iran goes, trouble tends to follow; where the regime goes, trouble tends to follow."
Nauert clarified that she was referring to trouble coming from the Iranian regime, not the Iranian people.
"There can also be very strict regulations when you work with a nation like that," Nauert said. "You may not be, as a country, getting all that you bargained for. It may be a lot more difficult and a lot more onerous than you think, so you're certainly entitled to do that but I would probably caution countries."