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Picking a fight with US over Iran deal, IDF chief baffles even accord’s critics

Kohavi’s public denunciation of Biden’s intention to rejoin nuke agreement seen as needlessly antagonistic of a brand new White House, possibly motivated by domestic budget fight

By JUDAH ARI GROSS
January 29, 2021

If nothing else, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi’s speech at the Institute for National Security Studies think tank this week, in which he denounced an incoming American president’s foreign policy plans and threatened Iran, was out of the ordinary.

Such remarks are normally left to politicians, not the head of the military, a position that is meant to remain as far from politics as possible.

In his remarks, Kohavi said returning to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal — as US President Joe Biden has stated he plans to do — or “even a similar agreement with a number of improvements, would be bad and not the right thing to do.” The military chief then announced that he had ordered the Israel Defense Forces to come up with fresh plans to strike Iran’s nuclear program if necessary, something that had been reported in unsourced articles in the Israeli press in the weeks preceding the speech.

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