Moreso than, say, a nuclear attack by Iran on Israel or the United States?
An Israeli attack on Iran would be “destabilizing,” Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said.
“It’s not prudent at this point to decide to attack Iran,” Dempsey said in an interview with CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” scheduled to be broadcast today. The U.S. government is confident the Israelis “understand our concerns,” he said, according to an e-mailed transcript.
Amid U.S. concerns that Israel may initiate military action against Iran’s nuclear sites, the White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon began a two-day visit to Israel yesterday to discuss Iran and other issues, such as the turmoil in Syria. Iran has been under United Nations investigation since 2003 over suspected nuclear weapons work.
“A strike at this time would be destabilizing and wouldn’t achieve their long-term objectives,” Dempsey said of the Israelis. “I wouldn’t suggest, sitting here today, that we’ve persuaded them that our view is the correct view and that they are acting in an ill-advised fashion.”
Crude oil prices increased 4.8 percent in February on concern the tensions between Iran and Israel will lead to a military conflict that disrupts oil supplies from the Persian Gulf. Iran is OPEC’s second-biggest producer. Iranian officials have threatened to cut off the Strait of Hormuz, through which about a fifth of crude oil trade passes.
The UN Security Council has passed four sets of sanctions against nuclear officials and companies in Iran. UN nuclear inspectors will return to Tehran for a second time in a month for meetings with Iranian atomic officials Feb. 21-22.
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