Discussing the killing by the U.S. of IRGC Quds Commander Qassem Soleimani, CENTCOM Commander Kenneth McKenzie argued that “it still has an effect on them [ie, Iran] and they’re not as coordinated as they once were, and there’s a number of things they don't do as well as they once used to do”. He further assessed that “we are [still] in a period of contested deterrence… While the maximum pressure campaign continues, the mission of U.S. Central Command is to deter the Iranians from believing they can strike back either overtly or covertly against us or our partners and coalition friends in the region in order to destabilise and reset the rules of that of that maximum pressure campaign”. Referring to rocket attacks in Iraq, McKenzie indicated that “Iran still desires to pursue a vision of the U.S. leaving the region. And I believe for a while early this year, they felt they had a political track to do that in Iraq. I don't think they see that track is available to them anymore. And as a result, they're sort of assessing where they're going to go… [and] are still in the process of thinking about how they proceed from the events of January”.
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