Discussing the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC), CENTCOM Commander Kenneth McKenzie stressed that “Iran has been hindering freedom of navigation in and around the Strait of Hormuz over the past few months… Had Iran not undertaken those actions, had there been no threat to freedom of navigation, there might not have been a need for the IMSC”. “Since it has been operational”, McKenzie observed, “none of these actions have occurred”. He also remarked that “unfortunately, sometimes, the Iranian regime has proved itself to be the bully in the neighbourhood. The only way to stand up to a bully is to do it together”. McKenzie also opined that while Iran “may control the next step on the escalation ladder... I do not believe that even Iran conceives that they own the last step on the escalation ladder. And that is point that we should hold”.
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