US Military Chief To Visit Israel

By Salon Staff

Published January 15, 2012 12:27PM (EST)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli officials say that the U.S. military's top officer will make his first official visit to the Jewish state later this week.

Thursday's visit by Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey comes at a time of growing American concern that Israel may be preparing to attack Iran.

Israel's Defense Ministry on Sunday confirmed the scheduled visit. It gave no further details, but Iran is likely to top the agenda.

The Obama administration is concerned that Iran's recent claim that it is expanding nuclear operations may push Israel closer to a strike.

Israel considers a nuclear-armed Iran to be an existential threat, and has repeatedly hinted it might take military action if international sanctions fail to stop Iran's nuclear program.

Tehran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Salon Staff

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