U.S. Joint Chiefs head to visit Israel

The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff will visit Israel next week to discuss Iran.

Adm. Michael Mullen will make a 24-hour visit to Israel early next week as a guest of his Israeli counterpart, Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, Yediot Achronot reported Thursday.

Mullen will be briefed about Israel’s intelligence estimates regarding the Iranian nuclear program, a response to a U.S. report that this week said Iran shelved its quest for an atomic bomb in 2003.

Israel is keen to preserve Western pressure on Tehran in the wake of the National Intelligence Estimate report. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni plans to discuss the matter with the foreign ministers of NATO countries when they convene Friday at the alliance’s Brussels headquarters.

Mullen’s visit to Israel will be the first by a Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman in nearly a decade.

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