Washington, Aug. 20 —Iran’s nuclear weapons program poses an existential threat to Israel and therefore is under far greater pressure to deal with the danger, according to U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey.
Israel and the United States are operating under somewhat different time constraints because of the existential threat Iran poses, Dempsey acknowledged Sunday night as he embarked on visits to Afghanistan and Iraq.
“You can take two countries, give them the same intelligence and reach two different conclusions,” Dempsey said. “I think that's what’s happening here."
"They are living with an existential concern that we are not living with," said Dempsey, who noted he confers regularly with his Israeli counterpart, Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz. "We compare intelligence, we discuss regional implications. And we've admitted to each other that our clocks are turning at different rates," Dempsey said.
Iran is the only country in the United Nations that has called for the destruction of another member-country. Last week saw a new flood of such genocidal threats from Iranian officials from Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Khamanei on down. Iran has denied the Holocaust and trains, funds and arms proxies such as Hezbollah and Hamas.
Iran is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon, refuses to allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors access to its nuclear facilities and may have enough material for at least five nuclear weapons, according to a recent report.
The Islamic republic’s top officials have for years said Israel should be annihilated, and stepped up their genocidal rhetoric dramatically last week ahead of al-Quds Day this past Friday – an event that calls for doing away with Israel.
“The fake Zionist (regime) will disappear from the landscape of geography,” Khamanei said.
An Israeli official said Israel takes such comments seriously, as should others. "The Iranians use unequivocal language, and their words speak for themselves.”
Top Israeli officials last week spoke out about the benefits of an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, even if such a move only sets the program back temporarily.
"One, two, three, four years are a long time in the Middle East," Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren said in a speech Wednesday.