The Political Scene

JCS Chief Warns Against Iran Attack

Amidst reports in the Israeli press of disagreements between Israel and the US over how to deal with Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen Martin Dempsey, has given the clearest indication yet that the Americans would not be happy if Israel were to launch an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Speaking in a 31 August interview in the London daily The Guardian, Gen Dempsey argued that such an attack would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear program” and stated bluntly that “I don’t want to be complicit if they choose to do it.” (The Americans may not want to be held responsible for Israel’s actions, but the fact is that the US will be blamed for any Israeli strike on Iran regardless. As a commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards who was quoted by the Fars news agency put it on 5 September, “the Zionist regime separated from America has no meaning, and we must not recognize Israel as separate from America. On this basis, today only the Americans have taken a threatening stance towards the Islamic Republic.”) The Israeli response to Gen Dempsey’s comments was less than enthusiastic, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telling the cabinet on 2 September that “I believe the truth must be stated: the international community is not placing a clear red line for Iran and Iran does not see international resolve to stop its nuclear program. Unless Iran sees this clear red line and this clear resolve it will not stop moving forward with its nuclear program, and Iran must not have nuclear weapons.”


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