US military chief in Israel to discuss Iran

JERUSALEM — The top general of the United States military has begun a round of closed talks with Israeli leaders, amid disagreements between the two countries over how to handle Iran's nuclear program.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Martin Dempsey, met Israel's military chief Benny Gantz on Friday. Dempsey is also scheduled to meet Israel's prime minister, president and defense minister.

The US general's visit highlights Washington's concern about a possible Israeli military strike against Iran. He is expected to urge Israel not to rush to attack Iran at a time when the US is trying to rally additional global support to pressure Tehran through sanctions.

Israel believes Iran is close to developing the technology to building an atomic weapon. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

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