U.S. general makes military threats against Iran

March 30, 2017 - 19:38

The United States should consider using “military means” against Iran, U.S. Army General Joseph Votel says, calling Tehran “the greatest long-term threat to stability” in the Middle East.

Votel, who heads the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), made the hostile remarks while speaking before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.

“I believe that Iran is operating in what I call a gray zone, and it's an area between normal competition between states — and it's just short of open conflict,” he told the panel.

Votel went on to accuse Iran of “destabilizing” the region through “lethal aid facilitation,” using “surrogate forces” and cyber operations.

“We need to look at opportunities where we can disrupt [Iran] through military means or other means their activities,” he said. “We need to look at opportunities where we can expose and hold them accountable for the things that they are doing.”

The general’s statements fall in line with the anti-Iran rhetoric of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has accused Iran of supporting terrorism and said "nothing is off the table" in terms of a response to the country’s defensive missile program. Trump has also said that his administration formally put Tehran "on notice" over its missile test.

As the commander of CENTCOM, Votel is tasked with leading Washington’s military efforts in Central Asia and the Middle East. More than 80,000 U.S. soldiers are stationed across the area under Votel’s command.

The general also oversees the U.S.-led coalition’s airstrikes and other military operations against purported terrorist targets inside Syria and Iraq, a campaign that began in 2014 and has led to the death of many civilians without any meaningful achievement.

Votel’s comments came less than two weeks after a deadly coalition strike that killed over 200 civilians in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

(Source: Press TV)

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