Dempsey: US and Israel on Different Iran Clocks

Tuesday, 21 August 2012 08:39 AM

Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey said on Sunday that the United States and Israel have "clocks ticking at different paces" on the issue of Iran's nuclear threat.

Speaking to reporters on his arrival to Afghanistan, Dempsey said that the United States and Israel have a different interpretation of the same intelligence reports in regards to Iran's nuclear program.

“Israel sees the Iranian threat more seriously than the U.S. sees it, because a nuclear Iran poses a threat to Israel's very existence,” Dempsey said.

“You can take two countries, give them the same intelligence and reach two different conclusions. I think that's what’s happening here."

He also acknowledged that he and his Israeli counterpart, IDF Chief of Staff Lt-.Gen. Benny Gantz, regularly confer on Iran. “We speak at least once every two weeks, we compare intelligence reports, we discuss the security implications of the events in the region."

Dempsey added: "At the same time, we admit that our clocks ticking at different paces. We have to understand the Israelis; they live with a constant suspicion with which we do not have to deal.”

Dempsey last visited Israel in January, when he met with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Gantz and President Shimon Peres. During his visit he stressed the “mutual commitment” between Israel and the United States.

However, he has previously warned that any Israeli strike would not destroy Iran’s nuclear program, only delay its work.

“I may not know about all of their capabilities but I think that it’s a fair characterization to say that they could delay but not destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities,” he said.

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Tuesday, 21 August 2012 08:39 AM
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