As Israel raises its anti-Iran pitch, America's top military official has cautioned that it would not be "prudent" to attack Tehran's nuclear facilities and press the military button immediately.
Gen Martin E Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS' in an interview that it was still "premature" to decide on the extreme step.
"It's not prudent at this point to decide to attack Iran," Dempsey said, in comments that came in the middle of mounting tensions in the Persian Gulf over Iran's nuclear programme.
"I think it would be premature to exclusively decide that the time for a military option was upon us," Dempsey added.
Dempsey's comments echoed the line taken by British Foreign Secretary William Hague who too urged Israel not to strike, saying it would not be "wise" to launch pre-emptive military strikes on Iran's atomic installations as it would have "enormous downsides."
Tensions have escalated in recent days between Israel and Iran, with Iran unveiling its first domestically-produced nuclear fuel rods and deciding to move warships into the Mediterranean Sea.
The war of words escalated further after Israeli embassy targets were attacked in Georgia and India, which Israel blamed on Iran but the latter denied any involvement.
There has been increased speculation in recent times that Israel might launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear installations.
"A strike at this time would be destabilising and wouldn't achieve their long-term objectives," Dempsey said.
"I wouldn't suggest, sitting here today, that we've persuaded them (Israel) that our view is the correct view and that they are acting in an ill-advised fashion," he said.
Using Military Option on Iran 'Premature: Dempsey
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