CENTCOM Commander Kenneth McKenzie highlighted that “the number one objective of the U.S. with regard to Iran is that Iran not possess a nuclear weapon… Any solution that closes that path to them contributes to regional security”. “There are other significant problems in the theater that agreement will not address. And we’re going to need to be able to address those, preferably through negotiations but also through deterrence”, he added. Asked about the U.S. potentially removing the IRGC from the Foreign Terrorist Organization list, McKenzie asserted: “The IRGC is the centerpiece of Iranian bad behavior in the theater… In the terms of the way we think about the threat and what they do on a daily basis across the theater, I don’t think much would change as a result of that. But I would wait to see what the actual agreement is”. He went on to assess that “the Iranians want us out of the theater”, adding: “Over the last six months, as you know, we’ve been attacked a number of times in Syria and Iraq… Had U.S. casualties occurred, I think we might be in a very different place right now, but we’ve been able to avoid that”.
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