Iran ‘most destabilizing force’ in Middle East, says Centcom chief


LONDON: Iran is the “most destabilizing force in the Middle East,” according to the US’s top military general in the region as he called on partners in the region to address mounting concerns.

US Central Command (Centcom) chief Gen. Erik Kurilla told Al Arabiya on Tuesday that countering the threat posed by the Islamic republic remained a top priority but said it would be reliant on regional cooperation.

“The US’s position is that we will not allow a nuclear Iran, however, our concerns about Iran go beyond its nuclear capability,” said Kurilla.

The Centcom chief noted Iran’s ballistic missile program and its support for Iran-backed militias and proxies as other concerns requiring “a firm effort from us and our security partners in the region.”

He was in Saudi Arabia as part of a “listening tour” having been in Egypt before and said he would be making several more trips to the Kingdom.

“This visit to the Centcom region… is largely an opportunity to glean insights from our partners here and in so doing, I’m looking for gaps, risks, and opportunities in security for our partners and for the region,” Kurilla added.

“I’ll return to the kingdom many times in the coming months and years. In so doing, I will demonstrate American commitment to Saudi Arabia and the region.”

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