IDF chief meets with US national security adviser, warns against rejoining Iran deal

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi again rails against the United States’ plan to rejoin 2015 Iran nuclear deal during a meeting with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and other top American defense officials, the military says.

During his meeting in Washington with Sullivan, Kohavi reiterates the “failures of the current nuclear deal” and attempts to convince American officials of alternative methods of preventing Iran from obtaining an atomic weapon.

The IDF chief also reportedly tells Sullivan that another round of conflict in the Gaza Strip is only a matter of time, following last month’s bloody 11-day battle with terror groups in the Palestinian enclave. According to the Kan news broadcaster, Kohavi referred specifically to the difficulties in the ongoing negotiations with Hamas and its leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi, center-right, and US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, center-left, salute outside the US Department of Defense in Washington, DC, on June 21, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)

Kohavi landed in Washington on Sunday and has met with a number of top American defense officials, including US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, US Central Command chief Kenneth McKenzie and others. He is due to return to Israel on Friday.

During his meetings, the Israeli military chief has repeatedly criticized the White House’s plan to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal.

“Throughout the day, the chief of staff has presented possible ways to prevent Iran from obtaining military nuclear capabilities during his meetings,” the IDF says in a statement.

Kohavi is still scheduled to meet with the head of the CIA, William Burns, and the US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.

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