Last Updated: Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:12 am (KSA) 08:12 am (GMT)

U.S. top general Dempsey opposes unilateral Israeli action against Iran

The U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, who said sanctions on Iran should be given a chance to succeed. (Reuters)
The U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, who said sanctions on Iran should be given a chance to succeed. (Reuters)

American top General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has expressed Washington’s opposition to a unilateral Israeli military action against Iran, saying that it would only delay but not end the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambition.

General Dempsey, who was in London to attend the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games as head of the U.S. delegation, told reporters that such an attack would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear program,” the Guardian has reproted.

“I don’t want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it.”

The high-ranking official said Washington does not know about Iran’s nuclear intentions, as intelligence did not reveal any succinct evidence.

But what was clear, he said, was that the “international coalition” applying pressure on Iran “could be undone if [Iran] was attacked prematurely.”

Previously, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that Washington does not believe Israel has made a decision on whether to attack Iran over its nuclear program.

Panetta, who visited Israel on July, told reporters at the Pentagon it was important that military action be the “last resort” and said there was still time for sanctions and diplomatic pressure to work.
Dempsey on Syria

On Syria, General Dempsey said that Washington was collaborating with the country’s neighbors, sharing intelligence and helping with military planning.

According to U.S. Department of State, Washington is providing more than $76 million this fiscal year in humanitarian assistance to help an estimated 500,000 people inside Syria, as well as the tens of thousands who have fled to neighboring countries to escape the violence.

The general, however, sounded that alarm over the implications of establishing a “humanitarian zone” inside Syria, proposed by others, including France.

He said, Syria was not Libya, and that there was no comparison.
He warned that establishing a humanitarian zone would beget other responsibilities, including providing protection against Syrian missiles.

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