The Guardian reports: An Israeli attack on Iran would delay but probably not stop its nuclear programme, the most senior US military officer has claimed. General Martin Dempsey reinforced Washington’s opposition to unilateral Israel military action as he made clear that US military chiefs were equally wary of getting ensnared in Syria.
In common with Nato’s supreme commander, US admiral James Stavridis, who wrote about Afghanistan for the Guardian on Thursday, Dempsey put a brave face on the situation there. The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff was speaking to journalists in London, where he attended the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games as head of the US delegation.
Distancing himself from any Israeli plan to bomb Iran, Dempsey said such an attack would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear programme”.
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, as intelligence did 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”. Sanctions against Iran were having an effect, and they should be given a reasonable opportunity to succeed.