IDF chief vows Israel to target Iran more, including nuclear program
Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi on Tuesday promised to continue military operations to counter Iran’s military capabilities, including its nuclear program.
“Operations to destroy Iranian capabilities will continue, in any arena and at any time, and operational plans against Iran’s nuclear program will continue to be developed and improved,” Kohavi said at a ceremony in the honor of the new head of military intelligence Aharon Haliva.
Major General Tamir Hayman, the outgoing intelligence chief, said the Islamic Republic was currently stable but predicted it would eventually fall.
“Although this is an unjust totalitarian regime, which oppresses its citizens and will eventually fall, it is stable for now,” he said.
“History has taught us what happens to such dark regimes,” Hayman added.
Talks between Iran and world powers over limiting Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief have been inactive since June. But Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday that Iran expected talks with world powers to revive its nuclear deal to resume in early November.
Earlier this month, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a report that Iran had quadrupled its stocks of 60% enriched uranium since May. He also said verification and surveillance activities have been “seriously compromised” since February, after Iran refused to allow inspectors access to IAEA surveillance equipment.
The great powers are losing patience, months after the suspension of negotiations that began in April in Vienna, under the aegis of the European Union, to try to resuscitate the international agreement of 2015.
The United States is on the verge of abandoning its efforts, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned in September.
The Islamic Republic has gradually freed itself from its nuclear obligations since 2019, in response to the reinstatement of sanctions by then-US President Donald Trump.
Israel has repeatedly warned that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons. Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu openly opposed the 2015 deal, which he said would pave the way for an Iranian nuclear arsenal, and publicly urged US President Joe Biden to avoid reintegration attempts into the ‘OK.
During a meeting with Biden at the White House last month, current Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned of the “nightmare” of a radical Islamic regime reaching nuclear weapons, and Biden publicly swore that states -United would ‘never’ allow Iran to obtain the bomb.
Iran has repeatedly accused Israel of sabotaging its nuclear sites and killing a number of its scientists.
Iran on Saturday urged the United Nations atomic agency to clearly condemn a “sabotage” attack on a nuclear facility west of Tehran that it accused Israel of carrying out.
Tehran claims to have foiled the June 23 attack on the building of its own nuclear agency near Karaj, about 50 kilometers from the capital.
At the time, he had not identified the nature of the attack, with state television saying only that “the saboteurs did not carry out their plan”.
Iranian atomic agency chief Mohammad Eslami said on Sunday that the UN watchdog and Western powers had not condemned “the terrorist act” which “severely damaged” the site.
“The last act of sabotage by the occupation regime in Jerusalem against our country’s nuclear program was the terrorist attack on the TESA complex in Karaj,” the official IRNA news agency said in a report.
He reiterates Eslami’s accusation that the site has been targeted by Israel, adding that the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency “must therefore clarify its position on this incident”.
AFP contributed to this report.