U.S. and Israel discuss Iran
It is not time to bomb Iran as the U.S. wants sanctions and international pressure to work. Military action appears in the distant future and is very much dependent upon Iran’s engagement and response to requests to stand down from nuclear development and proliferation.
“U.S. military chief in Israel for talks on Iran
By Joel Greenberg, Friday, January 20, 6:44 AM
JERUSALEM – The chief of the U.S. military held closed talks with the Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the Israeli army’s chief of staff Friday in an effort to coordinate responses to Iran’s nuclear program.
General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, was scheduled to meet later in the day with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Contents of the talks were not disclosed by the participants in keeping with standard procedure for consultations at such levels, a spokesman for Barak said.
In public remarks before the start of his meeting with Barak at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Dempsey said the United States and Israel “have many interests in common in the region in this very dynamic time, and the more we can continue to engage each other, the better off we’ll all be.”
Barak replied: “There is never a dull moment that I can promise you.”
The meeting was also attended by the Israeli army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz.
News reports in Israel have described Dempsey’s visit as part of an effort by Washington to seek clarification on possible Israeli plans for a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and to press the Israelis to allow time for international sanctions on Iran to take effect.
Barak said in a radio interview this week that any Israeli decision on military action was “very far off,” and that Dempsey’s visit was not meant to carry policy messages from the Obama administration. Army chiefs “deal with military preparations for various possibilities,” Barak said. “They do not deal with transmitting diplomatic messages.”
Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders have said that tougher sanctions on Iran, coupled with a credible military threat, are needed to prevent Tehran from pursuing what they describe as an Iranian drive to build a nuclear bomb.”