March 30 – By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – Declaring Iran as one of the greatest threats to the US, the head of the American military in the region has called for “military means or other means” to “disrupt” the Islamic Republic.
Gen. Joseph Votel, who heads US Central Command, told a Congressional hearing on Wednesday: I believe that Iran is operating in what I call a gray zone. And it’s an area between normal competition between states — and it’s just short of open conflict.Votel said Iran pursuing “lethal aid facilitation”, the use of “surrogate forces”, and cyber-operations to pose “the greatest long-term threat to stability” in the region. He then declared:
We need to look at opportunities where we can disrupt [Iran] through military means or other means their activities. We need to look at opportunities where we can expose and hold them accountable for the things that they are doing.
Votel did acknowledge that “Iran has a role in the region”. Reflecting the line of the Trump Administration, he said, “We think differently about the people of Iran than we think about the leadership of Iran — the Revolutionary Council that runs Iran. Our concern is not with the people of Iran, it is with their revolutionary government.”
Since taking office in January, the Administration has stepped up rhetoric against the Islamic Republic, saying it has put Tehran “on official notice” over its testing of ballistic missiles and alleged support of “terrorism”. So far, however, American actions have been limited to the Treasury’s inclusion of more Iranian individuals and companies on its sanctions list.