DOHA, Nov 27: A top US commander has warned Iran and other countries never to underestimate US air and naval power, discounting concerns that US forces are too tied down in Iraq to respond to challenges elsewhere.

"To deter a nation state you should never underestimate the air and naval power of the United States," General John Abizaid, the commander of US forces in the Middle East, told AFP in an interview late Friday.

"Why the Iranians would want to move against us in an overt manner that would cause us to use our air or naval power against them would be beyond me. We have an incredible amount of power," he said.

Gen Abizaid made the comment in response to questions about whether the United States, with the bulk of its ground forces tied down in Iraq, had the means to meet other contingencies such as a conflict with Iran.

"If you ever even contemplate our nuclear capability, it should give everybody the clear understanding that there is no power that can match us militarily," he said, speaking as he flew to his headquarters here from Afghanistan.

"And so we can generate more military power per square inch than anybody else on earth, and everybody knows it," he said.-AFP

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