Israeli military chief: Iran will not build nuclear bomb

JERUSALEM — Israel’s military chief said in an interview published Wednesday that he believes Iran will choose not to build a nuclear bomb, an assessment that contrasted with the gloomier statements of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and pointed to differences over the Iran issue at the top levels of Israeli leadership.

The comments by Lt. Gen Benny Gantz, who said international sanctions on Tehran have begun to show results, could relieve pressure on the Obama administration and undercut efforts by Israeli political leaders to urge the United States to get as tough as possible on Iran.

Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have repeatedly stressed that sanctions and diplomacy will not persuade Iran to halt a nuclear program that they describe as a military one, and they warn that the time to stop it is running out.

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