CENTCOM Commander General Joseph Votel says that Iran is the greatest threat to regional stability in the Middle East, and the U.S. should look to disrupt their activities through military or other means.

General Votel gave testimony before the House Armed Services Committee yesterday, where Iran and its disrupting and confrontational presence in the greater Middle East dominated much of the testimony and questions from members of Congress on the committee.

“It is my view that Iran poses the greatest long-term threat to stability in this part of the world,” General Votel said.

When asked if he believes Iran is escalating operations designed to destabilize the region, Votel said they have, and “I believe that Iran is operating in what I would call a gray zone. It’s a competition between states and it’s just short of open conflict. They do it through surrogate forces, through lethal aid, and through their own cyber activities and influence operations.”