Israeli strike on Iran would be “destabilizing,” Joint Chiefs head says


The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said in an interview that an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities would be “destabilizing.”

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

“I think it would be premature to exclusively decide that the time for a military option was upon us,” he said in clips of the interview aired on the CNN website.

The United States and the international community have been urging Israel to hold off on a preemptory 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. I think our diplomacy is having an effect,” Dempsey said.

“A strike at this time would be destabilizing and wouldn’t achieve their long-term objectives,” Dempsey said according to Bloomberg, citing an e-mailed transcript of the full interview. “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 on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with U.S. National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, to discuss Iran. He is also scheduled to meet other Israeli officials on his visit, which will end on Monday.

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

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