Iran at High Level of Readiness as US General Continues to Claim Imminent Threat

US Admiral says all interactions with Iranians remain 'safe and professional'

Growing US military buildups throughout April and May in the Middle East were a reaction, according to officials, to Iran’s military being at a high level of readiness. Now, with all those extra US forces in the area, Iran remains at a high level of readiness.

This is something of a challenge for the US to parse, now, as it makes sense for Iran to be at a high level of readiness after months of escalation and US threats, and officials are trying to figure out if this is just the new normal.

Gen. Frank McKenzie, the top US commander in the region, is continuing to hype up Iran as an “imminent threat.” Gen. McKenzie played up this threat on Thursday, and used virtually identical comments on Saturday, claiming Iran’s threat has “evolved in certain ways.”

Rear Admiral John Wade, the commander of the USS Lincoln’s carrier strike group, on the other hand, downplayed the situation. Rear Adm. Wade says that all interactions with Iran have been “safe and professional,” and Iran has done nothing to impede the strike group’s maneuverability.

This suggests the Pentagon is at least somewhat split on the matter, and the rear admiral is talking up a situation of relative normalcy, even as Gen. McKenzie, likely aware that regional military funding hinges on there being a “threat,” continues to see a threat evolved, but otherwise intact.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of