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Gantz appears to rebuke IDF chief over warning to Iran

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz appears to criticize IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi over a speech yesterday in which he threatened potential military action against Iran to block its nuclear program.

“A nuclear Iran is a danger to the world, to the region and is a challenge to the security of Israel. Of course, Israel must be prepared to defend itself in any way, but red lines are drawn in closed rooms,” Gantz says.

In his speech yesterday, Kohavi denounced American intentions to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal as “bad” and “wrong” and said he had ordered the military to develop operational plans for striking Iran’s nuclear program.

It is highly uncommon for the IDF chief of staff to make public comments critical of an American administration, which provides significant financial and logistical support to the Israeli military.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz, center, speaks to an IDF officer as army chief Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, right, watches on during a visit to the IDF Central Command in Jerusalem, on September 15, 2020. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)
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