Mullen Ashkenazi 311.
(photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)
WASHINGTON – There’s still time for sanctions against Iran to work, IDF Chief of
General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said Wednesday, backing the American
approach days after the prime minister called for a more aggressive
Ashkenazi declined to offer a timeframe for how long Israel was
willing to give the sanctions, saying only, “We have some time to watch and see
what will be the final outcome.” He did raise the question, though, of whether
they would be sufficient to convince the government to change its
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Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen
stressed that “we’ve all been pretty clear here that all options remain on the
table, including military options, and will remain on the table in the future,”
but that “right now the focus is on dialogue and engagement and sanctions.” He
also said, “I think that Iran is on the way to achieve nuclear capability and
that that would be a disaster for the region. It would be incredibly
Last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that
Iran must face a “credible military threat,” and Mullen was asked to respond to
that assertion at his press conference with Ashkenazi.
for the first time, publicly confirmed that Israel and the US were discussing
Jerusalem’s acquisition of additional F-35 advanced fighter planes.
said that the deal is “still under negotiation” but that, “definitely, we would
be more than happy to get them.” Some 20 planes beyond those Israel has already
planned to purchase have been reported to be part of a US package of incentives
aimed at restarting stalled peace talks in which Jerusalem would place a further
threemonth moratorium on construction in the West Bank. Ashkenazi prefaced his
comments by saying he wouldn’t address the political aspects of the
Ashkenazi was welcomed by an honor guard when he arrived at
the Pentagon and was greatly praised by Mullen, who noted that it might be
Ashkenazi’s last visit to Washington as chief of staff.
Mullen said that
the relationship between the two countries had grown even closer.
military to military relationship runs very deep,” he said. “It’s very broad and
it’s very critical, and it has gotten stronger over the last three years.”