Top Israeli military figures slam Kochavi’s ‘empty’ rhetoric against Iran

Top Israeli military figures have slammed as “empty” and “inappropriate” the recent anti-Iran remarks made by the Israeli regime’s army chief of staff lieutenant general Aviv Kochavi.

In his remarks on Tuesday, Kochavi said the Israeli military was revising its attack plans against Iran amid fresh efforts by the new US administration to reverse Trump’s Iran policy.

He warned the Biden administration against rejoining the 2015 landmark Iran nuclear deal, which was abandoned by the Trump administration in May 2018, saying such a move “would be bad and not the right thing to do.”

“I instructed the army to prepare a number of operational plans in addition to the existing ones,” Kochavi’s said.

“We are taking care of these plans and will develop them during the coming year. Those who decide on carrying them out, of course, are the political leaders. But these plans have to be on the table,” the Israeli general said.

Kochavi’s remarks were met with trenchant criticisms – even among the critics of the nuclear agreement, which was reached during former President Barack Obama’s time in office.

Amos Gilad, a former head of Israeli Military Intelligence, said the threat of military action against Iran was an empty one and such a strike would never happen without the backing of the United States.

“You think you would carry out a strike without strategic cooperation with the United States? It will never, ever happen,” Gilad said in an interview on the 103FM radio station on Wednesday. “Understand that these are all just words.”

He warned that harsh remarks that contradict the position of the new American administration “could be seen as defiance” by the White House, adding, “That’s not how you lead a policy.”

In his Tuesday remarks, Kochavi also claimed that Iran would someday use a nuclear weapon against Israel.

Chuck Freilich, a former deputy national security adviser of the Israeli regime, censured the claim as “fear-mongering” and “unnecessary”.

“I don’t know of any serious person who thinks they are going to use [nuclear weapons]. Maybe they exist, but I don’t know them. But I think that’s fear-mongering, just unnecessary and inappropriate,” Freilich told The Times of Israel on Thursday.

Freilich also speculated that Kochavi’s remarks were aimed at getting a defense budget increase to revamp the military.

“He wouldn’t be the first chief of staff to raise various threats as a means of priming the budgetary pump,” he said, adding that Kochavi “could have said, ‘Iran is a nuclear danger, and we’re not convinced that the deal will resolve it.’ He could have found a different way to express it.”

The hostile remarks also drew bitter denunciations by senior Iranian officials and commanders.

In a tweet, Hossein Dehqan, a military advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, said the Israelis do not even dare to fire a bullet at Iran, warning the regime in Tel Aviv that Iran’s “doctrine is defensive but based on severe punishment for the aggressors. Do not rush for annihilation!”.

Spokesman of the Iranian Armed Forces Abolfazl Shekarchi said the remarks were “nothing more than hallucinations”. Shekarchi said Israel would have hastened its destruction if it made a “foolish move” against the Islamic Republic.

The Iranian president’s chief of staff Mahmoud Vaezi also said, “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.”

Separately, Iran’s Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht-Ravanchi said Israel’s threats are a cover-up for its own nuclear arsenal and the fact that it is a threat to regional stability.

“Israel continues its lies and deception, and uses a series of fake and false information to portray Iran’s nuclear program as dangerous,” Takht-Ravanchi said, warning of a “harsh response” against any threats.

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