JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel’s military chief on Tuesday said the country will increase its efforts to combat Iran and hinted at future covert missions to sabotage the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
"Thanks to the relevant intelligence, the IDF and the intelligence community are working against Iranian entrenchment throughout all the Middle East,” said Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi while speaking at an army ceremony in Tel Aviv.
“Operations to destroy Iranian capabilities will continue — in various arenas and at any time,” he added.
“The operational plans against Iran’s nuclear program will continue to evolve and improve. Whatever the developments in the nuclear program may be, it is our duty to provide an effective and timely military response."
Israel considers Iran its biggest threat and accuses the country of trying to develop a nuclear weapon – a charge Iran denies.
Iran signed a deal with world powers in 2015 that placed limits on its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opposed the deal and claimed it would pave the way for Iran to build a nuclear arsenal. The agreement collapsed when former US President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned it, calling it “the worst deal ever.” Iran responded by openly violating the limits set by the deal, arguing that if Washington won’t keep its obligations, neither will Tehran.
Talks to revive the agreement have been stalled since June, but Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that negotiations may resume by early November.
Meanwhile, the UN’s nuclear watchdog said earlier this month that Iran has quadrupled its stockpile of 60% enriched uranium and “undermined” the agency’s surveillance of the country’s nuclear program.
Iran has repeatedly blamed Israel for suspicious fires and explosions at its sensitive nuclear sites.
On Saturday, Iran called on the UN nuclear watchdog to condemn Israel for allegedly carrying out a “sabotage” attack on the Karaj nuclear facility in June. Iran’s atomic chief Mohammad Eslami said the incident was a “terrorist act” that “severely damaged” the site.
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