General Kenneth McKenzie, commander of CENTCOM has told Time magazine that US forces are ready for orders if the upcoming nuclear talks with Iran fail.
“Our president said they’re not going to have a nuclear weapon. The diplomats are in the lead on this, but Central Command always has a variety of plans that we could execute, if directed,” McKenzie said.
After Iran suspended nuclear talks in Vienna in June and kept postponing the resumption of talks, the Biden Administration started issuing warnings in recent weeks that “other options” are available to deal with a fast-advancing Iranian nuclear program. Iran finally agreed to resume talks on November 29, but it has toughened its position.
General McKenzie also said that Iran is very close to obtaining a nuclear weapon, adding, “I think they like the idea of being able to breakout.”
Tehran is demanding the removal of all US sanctions imposed since 2018, all at once, and verification of the result. It is also demanding that the Biden Administration provide guarantees that no future US government would withdraw from an agreement.
Former President Donald Trump abandoned the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, in 2018, saying it was inadequate in preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.