CENTCOM commander Kenneth McKenzie assessed that “the greatest threat to stability and security in the region is Iran… Iran actively stokes instability and is intent on degrading security all over the region, ultimately for their own hegemonic purposes”. McKenzie further noted that “there's actually no military component of what's known as the maximum pressure campaign. Instead, what our responsibility is at U.S. Central Command is to deter Iran from taking actions either directly or indirectly against the U.S. or our allies and partners in the region to attempt to act against the maximum pressure campaign as it continues”. He also posited that “we’re in a period of what I could call contested deterrence with Iran”, adding: “I don’t want to paint too rosy a picture, because that could change very quickly and we’re not dealing with a regime in Iran that always makes purely rational calculations”.
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