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IDF chief: I’ve ordered preparation of plans to thwart Iran’s nuke program

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

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi speaks at a ceremony in the military's Kirya headquarters in Tel Aviv on June 18, 2020. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi speaks at a ceremony in the military's Kirya headquarters in Tel Aviv on June 18, 2020. (Israel Defense Forces)

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi says he has directed the military to prepare operational plans for the possibility that it will need to strike Iran to block its nuclear program.

“Iran can decide that it wants to advance to a bomb, either covertly or in a provocative way. In light of this basic analysis, I have ordered the IDF to prepare a number of operational plans, in addition to the existing ones. We are studying these plans and we will develop them over the next year,” Kohavi says.

He adds: “The government will of course be the one to decide if they should be used. But these plans need to be on the table, in existence and trained for.”

In a rare public comment on American foreign policy, the army chief warns that US President Joe Biden should not rejoin the 2015 nuclear agreement, as he has indicated he plans to do provided Tehran halts its violations of the deal.

“With the changing of the administration in the United States, the Iranians have said they want to return to the previous agreement. I want to state my position, the position that I give to all my colleagues when I meet them around the world: Returning to the 2015 nuclear agreement or even to an agreement that is similar but with a few improvements is a bad thing and it is not the right thing to do,” Kohavi says.

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