Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey said Tuesday that the United States can successfully attack Iran, if necessary. His biggest worry is that Iran will "miscalculate our resolve.
Dempsey, speaking to CNN during a worldwide tour, spoke one day after Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warned that the American government will not allow Iran to produce a nuclear weapon. He said that if Iran continues to enrich high-grade uranium, it could produce a nuclear weapon within a year, an estimate formerly given by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
"My biggest worry is they [Iran] will miscalculate our resolve," Dempsey said in Afghanistan. "Any miscalculation could mean that we are drawn into conflict, and that would be a tragedy for the region and the world."
Besides repeating the often-used phrase“ all options are on the table,” General Dempsey went one step further and declared, "I am satisfied that the options that we are developing are evolving to a point that they would be executable if necessary.”
It was the most blatant warning made regarding Iran’s growing nuclear threat.
General Dempsey said the United States will continue to gather intelligence against Iran despite the recent loss of a surveillance drone that Iran captured.
Concerning Israel, he said that the two allies share intelligence but that Israel will not necessarily consult with the Obama administration if it decides to attack Iran on its own. "We are trying to establish some confidence on the part of the Israelis that we recognize their concerns and are collaborating with them on addressing them," he said.
The general also expressed fears that if Iran were to obtain nuclear capability, it would spark a nuclear arms race involving other Middle East countries, beginning with Saudi Arabia.