Top U.S. general says Iran deal lowers near-term atomic arms risk
By David Alexander WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. military officer supported a proposed nuclear deal with Iran on Wednesday, saying it reduced the risk of Tehran developing atomic arms while buying time to work with allies to confront the Islamic Republic over other "malign activities." Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate hearing he had advised the White House to keep sanctions on Iran's ballistic missile program and arms trafficking for "as long as possible." The deal between Iran and the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France would lift the ban on ballistic missile technology for eight years and retain an arms embargo for five. Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee asked Dempsey how he squared his backing for the deal with his statement to the panel earlier this month that "under no circumstances" should pressure be eased on Iran over ballistic missiles and arms trafficking.
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