In its bluntest message yet, the US administration under Barack Obama, declared that Israel is on its own if it decides to go for Iran’s nuclear program with a military operation. Thursday, Aug. 30, Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, offered the view for the third time in as many weeks that an Israeli attack would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear program.”
But this time, talking to journalists in London, he added impatiently: “I don't want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it."
Dempsey then astonished his audience by saying he did not know Iran's nuclear intentions, “as intelligence did not reveal intentions.” What was clear, he said, was that the "international coalition" applying pressure on Iran "could be undone if [Iran] was attacked prematurely."
Sanctions against Iran were having an effect, he said, and they should be given a reasonable opportunity to succeed.
The general’s timing on this assertion was unfortunate. As he spoke, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported a 31-percent jump in Iran’s 20 percent enriched uranium to 189.4 kilograms from 145 in May.
It was therefore obvious to the world that Iran has not been deflected by sanctions one whit from its gallop towards a nuclear weapon capacity, a race that will continue so long as nothing effective is done to stop – or even delay – its progress.
The mistimed Dempsey remarks, say debkafile’s military sources, are the clearest sign yet that President Obama is fed up with hearing about Iran and its nuclear aspirations. He wants to be left alone to make his own judgments and decisions on the intelligence put before him – even though he might be too slow to stop Iran becoming a nuclear-armed power.
Israel, which is in direct line of an explicit Iranian threat of destruction, was therefore publicly slapped down by its best friend. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak and their predecessors were shown to have wasted three years in tireless efforts to solve the Iranian nuclear peril in accord with that friend. Washington has just dumped them.
debkafile suggests that unless Gen. Dempsey spoke off the cuff (unlikely), he would certainly have been obeying a White House directive – even if Washington later issues a softening remark. That directive may have been prompted by information that Israel is on the point of attacking Iran, which Obama would seek to head off.
The latest IAEA quarterly report published Thursday must have seriously embarrassed the Obama administration by making nonsense of its dependence on diplomacy and sanctions.The top US soldier may have been deployed for an authorative answer.
But Iran’s leaders must be laughing up their sleeves at America’s futile efforts to isolate them, as they race toward their nuclear goal while showcasing Tehran as the stage for the Non-Aligned Summit attended by dozens of world leaders.