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Focus on Iranian Nuclear Drive as Top U.S. Officials Visit Israel

Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Martin Dempsey met yesterday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a range of issues The Israeli leader afterward declared in a press conference that Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons “dwarfs” other regional threats.

Yaakov Lappin, the Jerusalem Post’s defense correspondent, had contextualized Dempsey’s trip along similar lines:

[Dempsey’s] visit comes at a time of signs of increased impatience from Jerusalem over Iran’s nuclear program, and concerns that newly elected President Hassan Rouhani will dupe the international community into giving Iran more time for talks, while uranium and plutonium are processed to reach nuclear weapons capability.

Also on the chairman’s schedule were meetings with his Israeli counterpart, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, and with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. Dempsey’s trip to the region includes a stop in Jordan, where the U.S. has roughly a thousand troops stationed amid instability in neighboring Syria.

Late last week, the news website Walla revealed that the head of the U.S. Air Force, Gen. Mark A. Welsh, had been in Israel on a secret 5-day visit. Welsh – who left the country Thursday – visited as a guest of his Israeli counterpart, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel. Walla reported that the visit – Welsh’s first as Air Force chief, though not his first to the Jewish state- was kept secret at Washington’s request.

The Israeli Air Force is expected to play the critical war in any military action that Jerusalem takes against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.

[Photo: ThePentagonChannel / YouTube]