LobeLog on Facebook   LobeLog on Facebook

David Petraeus Finally Answers His Own Question

by Tom Engelhardt It took 14 years, but now we have an answer. It was March...

Message no image

Published on February 19th, 2012 | by Jasmin Ramsey


Gen. Dempsey says Israeli attack on “rational” Iran would be “destabilizing”

Update: Both clips have been added to this post after the jump.

According to a Bloomberg Businessweek report, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, made the following statements about Iran during an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria:

– “It’s not prudent at this point to decide to attack Iran,” Dempsey said in an interview with CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” scheduled to be broadcast today. The U.S. government is confident the Israelis “understand our concerns,” he said, according to an e-mailed transcript.

– “A strike at this time would be destabilizing and wouldn’t achieve their long-term objectives,” Dempsey said of the Israelis. “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.”

– “We are of the opinion that Iran is a rational actor,” Dempsey said. “We also know, or we believe we know, that the Iranian regime has not decided” to make a nuclear weapon, he said.

Despite considerable criticism from pro-Israel commentators about his stance on Iran, Zakaria also spoke out again today against preemptive war with the Islamic Republic while comparing Israel’s Iran concerns with U.S. anxiety about the Soviet Union during the Cold War:

Israeli officials explain that we Americans cannot understand their fears, that Iran is an existential threat to them. But in fact we can understand because we have gone through a very similar experience ourselves. After World War II, as the Soviet Union approached a nuclear capability, the United States was seized by a panic that lasted for years.Everything that Israel says about Iran now, we said about the Soviet Union.

The efforts to delay and disrupt Iran’s nuclear program are working. But even if one day Tehran manages to build a few crude bombs, a policy of robust containment and deterrence is better to contemplate than a preemptive war.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 Responses to Gen. Dempsey says Israeli attack on “rational” Iran would be “destabilizing”

Show Comments >

  1. avatar JohnH says:

    I hope they continue to convince themselves that sanctions on Iran are working. Fact is, they aren’t. India and China are buying more oil from Iran than ever.

    But if the neocrazies can convince themselves and the media that Iran is working on a nuke, they can also convince themselves that sanctions are working.

    And that would be a good thing.

  2. avatar scottindallas says:

    “I hope they continue to convince themselves that sanctions on Iran are working.”

    I suspect that they aren’t trying to convince themselves. I suspect that they are appealing to an insatiable group of religious fanatics.

About the Author


Jasmin Ramsey is an Iranian-born journalist based in Washington, DC.

Back to Top ↑
  • Named after veteran journalist Jim Lobe, LobeLog provides daily expert perspectives on US foreign policy toward the Middle East through investigative reports and analyses from Washington to Tehran and beyond. It became the first weblog to receive the Arthur Ross Award for Distinguished Reporting and Analysis of Foreign Affairs from the American Academy of Diplomacy in 2015.

  • Categories

  • Subscribe

    Enter your email address to subscribe to our site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Popular Posts

  • Comments Policy

    We value your opinion and encourage you to comment on our postings. To ensure a safe environment we will not publish comments that involve ad hominem attacks, racist, sexist or otherwise discriminatory language, or anything that is written solely for the purpose of slandering a person or subject.

    Excessively long comments may not be published due to their length. All comments are moderated. LobeLog does not publish comments with links.

    Thanks for reading and we look forward to hearing from you!