WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — The top U.S. military official said that Israel and the United States are “more harmonized” in their agreement over military action in Iran, and that Israel believes the U.S. will strike Iran if necessary.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey acknowledged that Iran and the U.S. have had differences over the threat that Iran poses, and the way the U.S. is handling diplomatic negotiations with Tehran, which insists its nuclear programs are for energy and medical purposes only.
But Dempsey says the two countries have now bridged the gap over past quarrels regarding Iran’s nuclear program.
“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. Dempsey said of Israeli officials, Defense News reports. “I think they are satisfied we have the capability. I think they believe we will use it.”
The countries engaged in a minor diplomatic quarrel following recent remarks by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, in which he said Israel would have to challenge Iran alone because the U.S. was “weak.”
Ya’alon has since met with Dempsey and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in separate visits to express regret for his comments and to praise America’s ongoing support for Israel.
Dempsey’s hopeful comments come at the conclusion of his two-day visit to Israel, where he met with a series of government and military officials during his stay.
“Our clocks are more harmonized than they were two years ago,” he said. “They just wanted to know that we are maintaining and continuing to refine our military options.”