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The former United States army head of operations in the Middle East, retired general John Abizaid, believes that Israel is incapable of causing serious damage to Iran's nuclear program, Newsweek reported earlier this month.

The weekly magazine quoted the former Commander of the U.S. Central Command, who oversaw operations in the Middle East, as saying he doubted whether "the Israelis have the capability to make a lasting impression on the Iranian nuclear program with their military capabilities."

According to Newsweek, Abizaid made the comments earlier this month at a Marine Corps University conference, where he also reportedly said that an Israel-Iran confrontation would be bad for the U.S. and would further destabilize the region.

Azizaid's recent reported comments appear to echo remarks he has made on the issue of Iran's nuclear program, which Israel and the U.S. believe is aimed at developing atomic weapons.

Last year, the retired general said that, "There are ways to live with a nuclear Iran."

Several officers and Pentagon analysts were also quoted by Newsweek as saying that the U.S. military thinks Israel would face huge challenges in reaching Iran, refueling its warplanes along the way and penetrating hardened nuclear targets.