Ahmadinejad and Mullen
Ahmadinejad and MullenIsrael news photo

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of U.S. Joint Chief of Staffs, returned home from Israel and said that although he has “no reason to trust” Iran, Israel knows that attacking the Islamic Republic's nuclear sites would be "incredibly destabilizing.”

He acknowledged that it would be “incredibly dangerous” if Iran builds nuclear weapons, which Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Leon Panetta said Sunday are not within Iran’s capability for at least one year.

Speaking at a security conference, Admiral Mullen did not venture to predict what will happen up to the point when Iran can achieve the capability of manufacturing a nuclear weapon and a long-range missile that can explode it over Israel.

He shot down the idea that Israel would stage a military strike to delay or destroy Iran’s nuclear development, saying that Israel is “in synch” with the American thinking.

He acknowledged that the biggest problem for the United States is how much it does not know about Iran’s nuclear program. The U.S. National Intelligence and Defense Intelligence Agency directors told a U.S. Senate committee last year that there were no indications that Iran is refining uranium. The conclusion angered Israel, which has warned several times that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad means what he says when he talks about the need to "wipe Israel off the map.”

Few analysts have said that the recently passed United Nations Security Council sanctions against Israel will convince Iran to stop producing enriched uranium without United Nations nuclear inspections. High-grade enriched uranium is a key element for producing a nuclear bomb.

Mullen’s visit to Israel Sunday was the 15th time he has met with IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi since taking office in 2007. He said that he considers Chief of Staff Ashkenazi a “personal friend” and that he always tries to share Israel’s view of threats against the country.