Commander of the U.S. Central Command, Army Gen. Joseph Votel told the House Armed Services Committee in testimony today that Iran remains one of the greatest threats to the U.S. and has increased its "destabilizing role" in the Middle East. 

"I believe that Iran is operating in what I call a gray zone," Votel said. "And it's an area between normal competition between states - and it's just short of open conflict."

Iran is exploiting this arena in a multitude of ways including "lethal aid facilitation," the use of "surrogate forces" and cyber attacks, Votel contended.

"We need to look at opportunities where we can disrupt [Iran] through military means or other means their activities," he said. "We need to look at opportunities where we can expose and hold them accountable for the things that they are doing."

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