Joint Chiefs Chairman: Israel Confident U.S. Military Will Intervene in Iran if Needed

Gen. Martin Dempsey / AP

Gen. Martin Dempsey / AP

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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey said Tuesday that Israel is confident the U.S. military will intervene in Iran if the country abandons diplomatic talks and develops nuclear weapons.

Dempsey made the statements after returning from his trip to Israel.

The Times of Israel reports:

“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,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey said, according to the military news site Defense News. “I think they are satisfied we have the capability. I think they believe we will use it.”

The countries have been engaged in a minor diplomatic spat over a series of remarks by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, in which he most recently said that Israel would have to thwart Iran on its own because the US was “weak.”

Israel has consistently expressed chagrin at Washington’s handling of diplomatic efforts to negotiate a solution to Iran’s controversial nuclear program, which Israel and the US have charged is aimed at producing nuclear weapons. Tehran has insisted that the program is for energy and medical research purposes and that it is acting within its rights as a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.