The new CENTCOM commander has reiterated that Iran remains the most destabilizing force in the Middle East, calling for a coordinated effort to confront the Islamic Republic.

In an interview with The National in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, General Erik Kurilla said that there are also growing US concerns about surging inflation causing instability and the rise of China.

America’s top general in the Middle East travelled to Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia less than 45 days after taking over the force on a listening tour to hear from America’s strategic partners what they see as the greatest threats.

He said that the threats posed by Iran’s nuclear enrichment, ballistic missile development and use of proxy militias across the region, particularly Tehran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen had been the repeated central topics during his conversations.

“I think we share the same concerns and our primary concern is Iran, which I view as the most destabilizing force in the Middle East. The United States’ position is that we will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon, however, our concerns about Iran go far beyond their nuclear capability and ambitions”, he said.

Referring to attacks by the Yemeni rebels on Saudi Arabia and the UAE earlier this year, Kurilla said that he was committed to building an “integrated air and missile defense program in support of the kingdom [of Saudi Arabia] and the Emirates”.

His predecessor General Kenneth F. McKenzie said during his farewell visit before stepping down that the Islamic Republic is the region’s “principal bad actor” and “biggest threat to security”.

Source » iranintl