SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)- Top US military commander General Martin Dempsey says Washington cannot destroy Iran’s nuclear energy program through military action.
Dempsey, chairman of the US military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the remarks in a speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington on Thursday.
He said airstrikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities would only set back Tehran’s capabilities temporarily.
“We do have the capability — were we asked to use it — to address an Iranian nuclear capability,” he said. “But… as we look at using the military instrument if necessary to address the Iranian nuclear issue, that would delay it, it will not eliminate it.”
Dempsey said that it is not the centrifuges or missiles that make it impossible to eliminate Iran’s nuclear capability, “but rather the human capital that has the expertise to regenerate the program.”
The United States and its regional ally Israel have repeatedly threatened to attack Iran over its nuclear program. Tehran, however, has said that it will give a befitting response to any aggression on its soil.
Iran also strongly rejects the allegations that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran says it needs the nuclear program for peaceful purposes, including generating electricity and producing radio-isotopes for medical purposes.
In addition, the Islamic Republic says its missile program is defensive in nature and poses no threats to other countries.
The illegal US-engineered sanctions on Iran have been imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Tehran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
In November last year, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States — plus Germany signed an interim nuclear agreement, which took effect on January 20, 2014 and expired six months later.
Under the Geneva accord, the Sextet agreed to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period.
Both parties agreed to extend their talks until November 24 as they remained divided on a number of key issues.
Iran and the P5+1 group will open a new round of talks about Tehran’s nuclear energy program in the Omani capital Muscat on November 11.