The top US military officer, Gen. Martin Dempsey arrived in Israel Thursday to meet Israeli officials on Iran’s controversial nuclear program.
It is Dempsey’s first trip to the Jewish state since assuming the post of chairman of the joint chiefs of staff in September. His visit comes as the United States and Israel have been engaged in differences over how to deal with the Iranian nuclear standoff and how to set a solution to it.
Israel Radio quoted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying that Iran is making much headway in its plans for building a nuclear bomb as soon as possible.
Netanyahu declines to give any commitment that Israel will not launch an immediate unilateral attack on Iran.
In advance of Dempsey’s arrival, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak signaled some progress on that front, telling Israel’s Army Radio that any Israeli decision to pursue military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities is in the future.
“We haven’t made any decision to do this,” Barak said, according to Haaretz newspaper. “This entire thing is very far off.”
“I don’t think our ties with the United States are such that they have no idea what we are talking about,” Barak added.