US top general urges Iran restraint amid efforts to restart talks
February 22 2021 11:46 AM
General Kenneth McKenzie Jr
General Kenneth McKenzie


Iran must refrain from any provocation as Washington steps up efforts to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, the head of US forces in the Middle East told AFP.
"I would think this would be a good time for everybody to behave soberly and cautiously, and see what happens," General Kenneth McKenzie said in an interview Sunday during a visit to Oman, from where he flew close to neighbouring Iran in a helicopter.
"I do believe we will be prepared for any eventuality, however."
US President Joe Biden's administration, European powers and Iran have boosted attempts to revive a 2015 deal that has been on the brink of collapse since Donald Trump withdrew from it three years later.
On Sunday after talks in Tehran, UN nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi announced a "temporary solution" to allow Iranian facility inspections to continue.
The four-star general, head of the US Army Central Command (Centcom) which covers the region urged Iran not to undertake any "nefarious activities" in a bid to rebuild trust.
"I think they would want to be recognised as a responsible member of the family of nations and a stable member in the region," McKenzie said.
The Strait of Hormuz was the focus of the US general's visit to Oman, officially intended to make contact with the country's new chief of staff, Rear Admiral Abdallah Ben Khamis al-Raissi.
On Saturday, he visited Oman's rugged peninsula at the naval base at Khassab, which controls maritime traffic in the strait from its side, flying over the sea towards the Iranian island of Qeshm.

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