Top US, Israeli military leaders discuss Iran options

Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. James Winnefeld also reportedly discussed additional ways to expand military cooperation efforts between the United States and Israel with Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces Maj. Gen. Yair Nave, according to United Press International. 


While Israel continues to be one of America's strongest military allies in the Mideast, that relationship has begun to fray, due to Jerusalem's repeated overtures toward preemptive military action to stop Tehran's nuclear program. 

Winnefeld's visit on Thursday has been seen as a way the Pentagon is looking to mend fences with Israel regarding the Iranian situation. 

But Israeli military leaders intentionally blacked out any media coverage of Winnefeld's visit, according to the Israeli newspaper Harretz. 

In an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian last Thursday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey said the United States did not want to be "complicit" in any preemptive military strike against Iran by Israel. 

During the interview, Dempsey reiterated that any type of strike against Tehran's nuclear facilities would not destroy the program, but only delay it for a few years. 

Tehran has repeatedly claimed its nuclear work is strictly focused toward developing a new energy source for the country.

However, Israel and other western powers continue to argue Iran is actively pursing a nuclear weapon, citing the country's refusal to allow international inspectors access to its facilities. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Israel will not hesitate to launch a preemptive attack against Iran's nuclear facilities if it becomes clear Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said last Tuesday that Israel's chances of convincing the Pentagon and White House to back a strike against Iran's nuclear program would increase after the presidential election this November. 

"I think they believe that maybe after the election they can talk the United States into cooperating," he told reporters during an event held at the Republican National Convention in Florida.