U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey met with IDF Chief of Staff Benny. Gantz Monday after having warned Iran it will suffer if it “misjudges” America’s intentions.
Details of their conversation were not released. but it is widely assumed that Iran headed the agenda.
Two days before their meeting, Dempsey said in an interview that Iran should understand it would be making a “a gross misjudgment” if it thinks that the United States is not serious about preventing Tehran from becoming armed with a nuclear weapon.
Dempsey recently was criticized for having told Congress that he views the Iranian regime as being “rational.” He explained what he meant in an interview with the Public Broadcasting Service, in which he stated, "Rational meant to me that there is an evident pattern of behavior that this regime has followed since the Islamic Revolution that, first and foremost, expresses their intention to remain in power and to preserve the regime.
"Based on that, there are some things that we know they will respond to. That's a rational actor."
He noted that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein misjudged the will of the United States. Iran “could get it wrong and suffer the [same] consequences” as Hussein, Dempsey added.
Israel and the United States publicly agree on keeping nuclear weapons out of Iran but openly disagree on the timing of a military strike, if necessary. The Obama administration wants to wait for the possibility of economic sanctions pressuring Iran to surrender its refusal to allow full international inspection of its nuclear facilities. President Obama also wants to avoid another war before the elections in November.
Israel fears that Iran is close to the point of burying its nuclear facilities so deep underground that they would be virtually immune from a military attack.
Dempsey said intelligence information is an important factor in judging whether sanctions can be effective.
"It's time not necessarily measured in terms of months or years, but in terms of our ability and capability to collect intelligence, to see if they cross any thresholds," he said.
Lt. Gen. Gantz met with Dempsey in Washington after having visited his Canadian counterpart, General Walt Natynczyk.