"I do believe we remain in a period of heightened risk," Gen. Frank McKenzie told ABC News on Tuesday. "I would just emphasize this key point: We're not looking to escalate ourselves. We're not looking for war with Iran, I really want to emphasize that."
The top commander further reiterated that he still considers Iran and its proxies in the region as the greatest threat to US, but noted, "It is my belief that Iran doesn't want a war with the United States right now."
"And I know for a fact that the United States doesn't seek war with Iran," he added.'
Asked about the deployment of USS Georgia submarine to the Persian Gulf, he said, "there are a lot of reasons for bringing a submarine into the straight into," what he called "the Arabian Gulf."
The comments by McKenzie come after CENTCOM announced in a statement on Thursday that it has flown two B-52H bombers from Louisiana to the Middle East following the tensions over assassination of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
Fakhrizadeh was targeted in a terrorist attack in the city of Absard, Tehran Province’s Damavand County, on November 27.
Fakhrizadeh’s martyrdom came two years after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during an erroneous presentation about Iran's nuclear activities, warned the world to “remember that name.”