Thursday, December 1, 2011
Major US-Israel differences surfaced suddenly Thursday, Dec. 1, over the timing and circumstances of an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, when Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs of Staff, said: “I don’t know whether Israel would alert the United States ahead of time if it decided to take military action against Iran.” Three hours later, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak maintained US policy would enable Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon without the possibility of attacking it.
In an interview, General Dempsey went on to admit a range of differences between the US and Israel on two key issues: The first related to their expectations from the sanctions and the diplomatic moves being taken by the Obama administration, “with the stated intent not to take any options off the table” – language that leaves open the possibility of future military action.
“I am not sure that the Israelis share our outlook” on this matter, said the American general.
The second issue on which the Americans and Israelis are divided is their perspective on the future course of events relating to the Iranian nuclear program and the Middle East: “And … because to them this (a nuclear-armed Iran) is an existential threat I think probably that it’s fair to say that our expectations are different right now,” said Gen. Dempsey.
This article was posted: Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 10:48 am