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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Top US commander continues to see 'heightened risk' from Iran

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 23 December 2020 7:47 PM

The head of US Central Command says there is a "heightened risk" of an Iranian threat to the US interests in the Middle East.

"I do believe we remain in a period of heightened risk," Gen. Frank McKenzie told ABC News on Tuesday. "I would just emphasize this key point: We're not looking to escalate ourselves. We're not looking for war with Iran, I really want to emphasize that."

The top commander further reiterated that he still considers Iran and its proxies in the region as the greatest threat to US, but noted, "It is my belief that Iran doesn't want a war with the United States right now."

"And I know for a fact that the United States doesn't seek war with Iran," he added.'

Asked about the deployment of USS Georgia submarine to the Persian Gulf, he said, "there are a lot of reasons for bringing a submarine into the straight into," what he called "the Arabian Gulf."

The comments by McKenzie come after CENTCOM announced in a statement on Thursday that it has flown two B-52H bombers from Louisiana to the Middle East following the tensions over assassination of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Fakhrizadeh was targeted in a terrorist attack in the city of Absard, Tehran Province's Damavand County, on November 27.

Fakhrizadeh's martyrdom came two years after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during an erroneous presentation about Iran's nuclear activities, warned the world to "remember that name."

The move also came one year after the assassination of Lt. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), by the US drones in Iraq.

The act of terror was carried out under the direction of President Donald Trump, with the Pentagon taking responsibility for the strike.

In response, the IRGC launched a wave of missile strikes days later, targeting a major US base in neighboring Iraq. The Islamic Republic has vowed to fully avenge the general's blood.

There have been reports that Trump has recently requested options for a military strike on Iran during the remaining days of his term. The Israeli regime has also reportedly been preparing for such an attack for weeks.

Tehran has time and again asserted that it stands ready to defend its interests in the region in the wake of any aggression by US or its allies.

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