US urges Israel not to strike Iran, assumes it will

Thursday, July 03, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen urged Israel to refrain from striking Iranian nuclear facilities on Wednesday, insisting that such an action would further destabilize a region where stability is already in very short supply.

Speaking to reporters at a Defense Department news conference following his visit to Israel earlier this week, Mullen refused to reveal what Israeli military leaders had told him during his trip.

Suggesting that if Israel went to war with Iran the US would be compelled to enter the fray on the Jewish state's side, Mullen noted that American forces are already engaged in two military campaigns and "opening up a third front right now would be extremely stressful on us."

While he focused almost entirely on the potential risks of an Israeli strike, Mullen failed to address the destabilizing regional effects of Iran actually obtaining nuclear weapons.

Recent media reports citing leading Israeli and American military figures indicate that the working assumption in Washington is that Israel will attack Iran. That assumption was bolstered last month by news of a major Israeli air force exercise over Greece that simulated a long-distance bombing mission.

Last week, former US Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton told British media that he believed a win by Democratic candidate Barack Obama in the upcoming presidential election would result in an immediate Israeli air strike on Iran.

Bolton pointed out that with Obama's intended foreign policy toward Iran, Israel knows that the moment he is inaugurated the military option for preventing Iran going nuclear will be forever lost.

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