Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said he has ordered the preparation of plans to attack Iran’s nuclear sites in order to prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
“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,” he said in a speech to the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS).
“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,” stressed Kochavi.
Earlier this month, Minister of Settlement Affairs Tzachi Hanegbi of the Likud Party said Israel could attack Iran’s nuclear program if the United States decides to go ahead and re-enter the deal. On Jan. 13, Israel launched unusually forceful strikes at Iranian targets in Syria.
Kochavi also urged the new Biden administration not to rejoin the 2015 nuclear 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,” he said.
During his confirmation hearings last week, U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken said that America would not be joining the Iranian nuclear deal “anytime soon.”
On Monday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat that the U.S. would “closely consult” with Israel on all matters of regional security.