Chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff says strike on Tehran’s atom facilities will only slow nuclear program down. Panetta says he ‘doesn’t believe’ Israel made a final decision on strike
WASHINGTON – A possible Israeli strike on Iran‘s nuclear facilities may be able to hinder the Islamic Republic’s atom ambitions but it will no destroy its nuclear program, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Tuesday.
In a press briefing held in the pentagon, Dempsey and US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta were asked for their opinion of a recent media report suggesting Israel was closer than ever to undertaking a unilateral strike against Iran, and whether they believed such military action would be effective.
Dempsey told reporters that “Militarily, my assessment hasn’t changed. And I want to make clear, I’m not privy to their planning. So what I’m telling you is based on what I know of their capabilities. And 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.”
Panetta, on his part, said that Israel has not informed the US of any immediate plans to that effect. “I’ve said this before, I’ll say it now – I don’t believe (Israel has) made a decision as to whether or not they will, they will go in and attack Iran at this time,” he said.
Iran is taking another stab at psychological warfare against Israel: Iranian Defense Minister General Ahmad Vahidi vowed Tuesday that should Israel strike its nuclear facilities, the Islamic Republic will annihilate the IDF.
The Israeli leaders, Vahidi said “Are not very smart. They are warmongers… all this warlike talk will only see that regime’s war machine destroyed.”