Israel and the United States are now in broad agreement about the threat that Iran poses to the region and how to deal with it, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said. (Jim Watson / AFP)
ABOARD A GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT — Israel and the United States are now in broad agreement about the threat that Iran poses to the region and how to deal with it, the top US military official said Tuesday.
“I think they are satisfied that we have the capability to use a military option if the Iranians choose to stray off the diplomatic path,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said of Israeli officials. “I think they are satisfied we have the capability. I think they believe we will use it.”
Acknowledging there were differences in the past, Dempsey said Israel and the United States are closer now in their assessment of the threat Iran poses and America’s willingness to act.
Dempsey made the remarks after wrapping up a two-day visit to Israel, where he met with military and government officials.
The international community has reached an agreement with Iran to lessen sanctions against the country in return for curbing its nuclear program.
In the past, Israeli officials have expressed wariness about the international accord with Iran and also disagreed with the United States at times over the pace at which Iran could field a nuclear weapon. Israel had raised the prospect of a unilateral attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
“Our clocks are more harmonized than they were two years ago,” Dempsey said.
“They just wanted to know that we are maintaining and continuing to refine our military options,” he said.
Jim Michaels writes for USA Today.