IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi warned American officials against rejoining the Iranian nuclear deal while in Washington to discuss the threat posed by Tehran’s nuclear program.

“The Chief of the General Staff emphasized the shortcomings of the current nuclear agreement, which will allow Iran to make significant progress related to centrifuges as well as to substantially enhance the amount and quality of enriched matter over the next few years, also emphasizing the lack of supervision in terms of nuclear proliferation,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement.

Israel’s top military officer “explained the threat created by returning to the original nuclear agreement and emphasized that all measures should be taken to prevent Iran from achieving military nuclear capabilities,” the statement added.

Kohavi is in Washington on a four-day visit and is holding meetings with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, head of the US Central Command Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, and head of the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Gen. Richard Clark.

In light of the close alliance between Israel and the United States, it is rare for a chief of staff to make public remarks about political issues or to criticize the foreign policies of allies.

But Kohavi has made it clear that he views the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as dangerous, saying in January that he has directed the IDF to prepare fresh operational plans to strike Iran in order to stop its nuclear program if necessary.

“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 said in a speech at the Institute for National Security Studies think tank’s annual conference.

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

During his trip, which is his first as Israel’s top military officer, he is meeting with his American counterparts to discuss common security challenges in the region, including issues related to the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear project, Tehran’s attempt to entrench itself in the Middle East, Hezbollah’s attempts to strengthen itself and the consequences of the Lebanese terror group’s precision missile project.

The leaders also discussed the challenges and related responses in the Palestinian arena, focusing on the Gaza Strip. Kohavi also presented the military’s main takeaways from Operation Guardian of the Walls.

His visit to Washington that was scheduled to take place in April was postponed due to the fighting with Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip.

Kohavi is joined by his wife, Yael, and the IDF attaché in Washington, Maj.-Gen. Yehuda Fox.

Head of the Strategy and Third-Circle Directorate Maj.-Gen. Tal Kalman and head of the Research Division Brig.-Gen. Amit Saar will also join Kohavi on the visit and will hold additional meetings with senior members of the US defense establishment.
Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Eyal Zamir is replacing Kohavi in his absence.

Source » jpost