Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi said on Tuesday that he ordered the military to draw up new plans to attack Iran’s nuclear program. He also warned the new Biden administration against reviving the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
“I have ordered the IDF to prepare a number of operational plans, in addition to the existing ones,” Kohavi said. “We are studying these plans and we will develop them over the next year.”
Kohavi’s comments are just the latest threatening comments towards Iran from Israeli officials. Earlier this month, an Israeli minister from the Likud party said Israel will have to attack Iran if the Biden administration returns to the JCPOA.
Warning against a revival of the JCPOA in his comments on Tuesday, Kohavi said the new administration should not let up the pressure that the Trump administration left on Iran in the form of crippling economic sanctions.
“These pressures must continue. No matter what happens. Anything that releases that pressure gives them oxygen gives them air and will allow them to continue to violate the current agreement,” he said.
Kohavi, like most Israeli officials, warned that Iran is racing to develop a nuclear weapon. He cited Iran’s recent decision to increase uranium enrichment to 20 percent as an example of this. But uranium enriched at 20 percent has a civilian purpose. It is used to make fuel rods for the Tehran Research Reactor, a facility built by the US in the 1960s that can make medical isotopes.
The Iranians only recently decided to increase enrichment to 20 percent as a response to the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the prominent Iranian scientist who was killed in an apparent Israeli plot.
Iran has also made it clear that they will return to compliance with the JCPOA if the US lifts sanctions. Returning to compliance means reducing uranium enrichment and other violations of the deal that Kohavi cited as reasons to plan an attack on Iran.