Gen. Martin Dempsey - AP - December 2011
Joint Chiefs Chairman Army Gen. Martin Dempsey. Photo by AP
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General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview to be aired on CNN on Sunday that it would not be "prudent" for Israel to launch a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities at this time, despite the fact that the U.S. understands Israel's concerns about Iran's nuclear program.

Gen. Dempsey said that an Israeli strike on Iran would cause instability in the Middle East and that sanctions are starting to influence Iran.

Gen. Dempsey said that Iran is a "rational actor" and that the U.S. thinks that Iran has not yet decided whether to make a nuclear weapon.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Saturday a nuclear-armed Iran would trigger an arms race in the Middle East and nations should impose "crippling" sanctions on Iran to force it to give up its atomic program.