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Friday, March 31, 2017

Top U.S. Commander: Iran’s Heightened Threat Since Nuclear Deal May Require Military Action


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. needs to consider military action to disrupt Iran’s malign activities in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, which have intensified since the Islamic Republic signed a nuclear deal with world powers in 2015, a top American commander warned American lawmakers.
Former President Barack Obama and other supporters of the nuclear deal argued that it would promote peace and avoid military confrontation.
Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) testified Wednesday before the House Armed Services Committee about the security challenges facing his area of responsibility (AOR).
The Central Region, or CENTCOM AOR, spans more than 4 million square miles that cover 20 predominantly Muslim nations that stretch from Northeast Africa across the Middle East to Central and South Asia.
In his written testimony, Gen. Votel declared:
Iran poses the most significant threat to the Central Region and to our national interests and the interests of our partners and allies. We have not seen any improvement in Iran’s behavior since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), addressing Iran’s nuclear program, was finalized in July 2015.
Over the past year, after the nuclear deal was signed, the U.S. military has been dealing with Iran and its proxies carrying out “a range of malign activities” in the Central Region, namely in “Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, the Sinai, and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait [located between Yemen and Djibouti and Eritrea] and in other parts of our area of responsibility,” declared Gen. Votel.
Democrat Congresswoman Jacky Rosen from Nevada asked the top U.S. general during the hearing, “Do you believe Iran has increased destabilizing activity since the JCPOA?” “I do believe they have,” responded Gen. Votel, adding in his written remarks: READ MORE