Israel’s army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi, said on Tuesday that the regime’s military was revising its attack plans against Iran, claiming that any US return to the Iran nuclear deal would be “wrong.”
Kochavi said that he had instructed the military “to prepare a number of operational plans, in addition to those already in place” against Iran, adding, “It will be up to the political leadership, of course, to decide on implementation but these plans need to be on the table.”
In an apparent signal to US President Joe Biden who has signaled Washington may rejoin the nuclear deal, the Israeli general said a return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) “or even if it is a similar accord with several improvements, is bad and wrong from an operational and strategic point of view.”
In response, Iran’s First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri said on Wednesday that “Israel is not in a position to comment on this issue.”
Jahangiri made the remarks while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a weekly cabinet session.
Separately, the Iranian president’s chief of staff, Mahmoud Vaezi, also dismissed the threats as mere rhetoric.
“Our people and the people of the region are familiar with the language of the Zionist regime’s officials. They talk more [rather than act] and they mostly seek psychological warfare,” he said.
“In action, they neither have a plan nor the capability to carry it out,” he added.
He, however, promised that Iran’s Armed Forces, including the Army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, were fully prepared in the face of such threats, stressing that different drills conducted by the forces showed their strong and firm readiness to defend the country.
“This [recent] propaganda carried out by the Zionists is a kind of psychological warfare,” Vaezi said, adding that certain Israeli officials seek to impose their views on the US government.
He said that Israel, along with certain regional countries, was opposed to Washington’s possible return to the JCPOA and the lifting of anti-Tehran sanctions, and was thus orchestrating a lobby to prevent it.
Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump who prided himself as being the most pro-Israel president, withdrew the US from the JCPOA in 2018 – a move welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump also returned the draconian sanctions that had been lifted against Tehran under the agreement.
Biden has said that he may return the US to the deal, but Iranian officials have stressed that Tehran should see genuine actions not mere words from Washington, underscoring that the US needs to first remove all sanctions to prove its goodwill and then ask Iran to reverse its countermeasures.
“What we have heard from the new United States administration [so far] has mostly been in the form of words and announcement of its positions,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday at a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov during a visit to Moscow. “However, it is actions that we [choose to] respond to,” he added.
Zarif said that once the US lifted the sanctions again and stopped punishing the world’s law-abiding countries that choose to engage in legal trade with Iran, as the UN resolution allows, Tehran would be ready to deliver a befitting response, too.
Earlier this month, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said that Iran is in no rush for the US return to the JCPOA.
“Our rational demand is the lifting of the sanctions. This is the Iranian nation’s right which has been violated. They are duty-bound to do that …. If the sanctions are lifted, then the US return to the JCPOA will mean something,” the Leader said.
Israel’s threats meant to cover up its nuke program
Separately, the Iranian ambassador to the UN, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, said that Israel’s threats against Iran are aimed at covering up its own nuclear arsenal and the fact that it is a threat to regional stability.
The UN envoy said that Israel is seeking to implicate Iran’s nuclear program by hook or by crook.
“Israel continues its lies and deception, and uses a series of fake and false information to portray Iran’s nuclear program as dangerous,” he said.
He, however, said that Iran will not hesitate to defend its soil in case of any act of aggression and will give a harsh response to any threats.