Israeli strike on Iran would be ‘destabilizing,’ Joint Chiefs head Dempsey says


(JTA) — Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities would be "destabilizing."

“It’s not prudent at this point to decide to attack Iran,” Dempsey said in an interview on CNN’s "Fareed Zakaria GPS" aired Sunday morning.

"I think it would be premature to exclusively decide that the time for a military option was upon us," he said.

The United States and the international community have been urging Israel to hold off on a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities in order to prevent the production of a nuclear weapon, asking Israel to give tough sanctions an opportunity to work.

"I think that the economic sanctions and the international cooperation that we have been able to gather around sanctions is beginning to have an effect," Dempsey said. "I think our diplomacy is having an effect.

“A strike at this time would be destabilizing and wouldn’t achieve their long-term objectives. I wouldn’t suggest, sitting here today, that we’ve persuaded them that our view is the correct view and that they are acting in an ill-advised fashion."

Also Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met for two hours with visiting U.S. National Security Advisor Tom Donilon to discuss Iran. Donilon also is scheduled to meet with other Israeli officials on his visit, which ends Monday.

Donilon, who was named to the post in October 2010, is visiting Israel for the first time.


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