U.S., UK Urge Israel Not To Take Military Action Against Iran
“A strike at this time would be destabilizing and wouldn’t achieve their long-term objectives,” Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said of the Israelis to Businessweek. “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.”
The request comes shortly after Iran's Oil Ministry announced its suspension of oil shipments to Britain and France after the U.S. and European Union imposed sanctions on Iran's oil exports in January, hoping it would encourage Iran to halt its suspected nuclear program. The U.S., EU and Israel have all suspected Iran of developing nuclear weapons though Tehran denies the allegations.
FOX reported that Israel accepted the oil sanctions but that its patience with Iran is starting to run out.
According to Bloomberg News:
- Officials in Tel Aviv have tried to alert the West to the dangers of a nuclear Iran for more than a decade. They argued that Iran would cause the technology to proliferate in the region as states such as Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia sought such weapons, turning a multipolar nuclear Middle East into a strategic nightmare. A nuclear-armed Iran would strengthen its hegemony in the energy sector by its mere location along the oil-rich Arabian Gulf and the Caspian Basin.
- It would also result in the West’s loss of the Central Asian states, which would either gravitate toward Iran or try to secure a nuclear umbrella with Russia or China, countries much closer to the region than the U.S. is. A regime in Tehran emboldened by the possession of nuclear weapons would become more active in supporting radical Shiite elements in Iraq and agitating those communities in the Arabian Gulf states.
Meanwhile, officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived in Iran Saturday to discuss its nuclear activity. This is their second visit this month.
“This meeting is a crucial opportunity for everyone, including the Iranians, to get serious,” Arms Control Association Director Daryl Kimball said from Vienna in a telephone interview with Businessweek. “Getting serious means focusing on the near-term problem that 20 percent enriched uranium represents” which drives the “hysterical war talk in some quarters.”
Iran has been secretative about its nuclear program for nearly two decades and claims it wants nuclear power "for peaceful purposes," reported Businessweek.