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General Martin Dempsey: “I don’t want to be complicit” if Israel chooses to attack Iran.
The U.S. military’s top officer made statements Thursday which appear to warn Israel that it should not expect U.S. assistance if it chooses to attack Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, said such an attack would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear program,” The Guardian reported Thursday. He added: “I don’t want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it.”
Dempsey said he did not know Iran’s nuclear intentions, since intelligence does not reveal intentions. What was clear, he said, was that the “international coalition” applying pressure on Iran “could be undone if [Iran] was attacked prematurely”.
Israel’s military confirmed Sunday that Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey will travel to the Mideast nation this week for talks, as Israel’s No. 2 public official suggested that President Obama is being meek about Iran ahead of the U.S. presidential election.
The content of the coming discussion between the U.S. general and Israel’s top military commander was not stated, but Iran is first and foremost in Israel’s mind as the Islamic Republic takes a step closer to going nuclear.
“There is very close cooperation between Israel, the Israeli military and the U.S. military, and General Dempsey is a close friend, and I’m sure that he and our chief of staff will have very serious discussions about all the options,” said former Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Dan Gillerman.
With Dempsey scheduled to visit Israel this week — his first official trip to the country since he assumed command of the joint chiefs on Sept. 30 — the occasion may be used to urge Israel to stay calm and let sanctions work.