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McKenzie: Iran Urged its Proxies to Avoid Provoking War ahead of Biden Inauguration

McKenzie: Iran Urged its Proxies to Avoid Provoking War ahead of Biden Inauguration

Tuesday, 26 January, 2021 - 11:45
US General Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie. (Department of Defense)

Iran had urged its regional proxies to “avoid provoking war” on the eve of the inauguration of US President Joe Biden, revealed CENTCOM's commander General Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie.

McKenzie said the relationship between Washington and Tehran is entering a “period of opportunity.”

“Not all of that is probably the result of the military component. I’m sure there’s a political calculation in Iran to get to a new administration and see if things change.”

He told reporters, onboard a US plane heading to the Middle East, that not all of these groups operate under direct command and control of Tehran, but they were able to convey the message that this is not the right time to provoke a war.

McKenzie noted that US troops in the region played a major role in managing the escalation and avoided direct confrontation with Iran.

“They're [Iranians] not looking for a major incident with the United States right now, because I believe that deterrence has been established.”

McKenzie stressed that US policy in the Middle East will not witness immediate major changes, “at least for the time being”, referring to the priorities of the administration and the new defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, who is likely to focus on affairs at the Pentagon and daily coronavirus briefings.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Chief of Staff Mohammad Baqeri announced that his country had received messages from its “enemies” indicating that they do not want to carry out an attack against Iran.

Over the past two weeks, Iran has conducted ten intense military drills as part of the “Eqtedar” maneuvers, announced Baqeri.

He said the drills included “extraordinary measures”, some of which were executed for the first time, demonstrating Iran’s strength and readiness.

He accused former President Donald Trump of constantly threatening the Iranian regime during the last two months of his term, describing him as "foolish" and "illiterate" and revealing that Tehran was expecting anything from him during his final days in office.

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