Action against Iran need to be accelerated, Kohavi warns US officials

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi stressed that Iran is continuing to advance its nuclear program despite external and internal pressure.

 Israel's Ambassador to the US Michael Herzog with IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi in the US (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Israel's Ambassador to the US Michael Herzog with IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi in the US

Operational plans against Iran need to be accelerated as the situation is at a "critical point," warned IDF Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi in meetings with officials at the Pentagon and White House on Monday.

Kohavi began his visit with a meeting with Israel's Ambassador to the US Michael Herzog and discussed the regional situation with him.

The chief of staff then met with US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and discussed strengthening cooperation between the two militaries and cooperation against threats in the region, especially Iran's nuclear program.

At the White House, Kohavi met with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and discussed defense challenges in the Middle East and the Iranian threat. The national security adviser stressed that the US stands behind President Joe Biden's commitment to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

The two also discussed the security situation in the West Bank and the desire to maintain stability and prevent an escalation.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi meets with officials in the US. November 21, 2022 (Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

Kohavi also met with CIA head Wiliam Burns.

Iran continues to advance its nuclear program, warns Kohavi

"I thank the administration and senior officials of the US defense establishment for their partnership and support for the State of Israel and the IDF," said Kohavi after his meeting with Sullivan.

The chief of staff noted that "on the one hand, Iran is under many economic, military and internal pressures, and on the other hand, continues to advance its nuclear program."

"We are at a critical point in time that requires the acceleration of operational plans and cooperation against Iran and its proxies in the region," warned Kohavi. "The deep cooperation with our greatest friend was and continues to be a central pillar of our national security."

The US and Israel will hold a joint aerial exercise simulating strikes against Iran and Shi'ite militias in the Middle East next week, according to KAN news.

IDF Intelligence chief calls Kohavi's visit 'critical'

On Monday, IDF Intelligence chief Aharon Haliva told the INSS conference on Iran that Kohavi's visit to the US "is no less than critical. We are at a point when we need to speak in Washington with decision-makers about the complete picture of Iranian behavior."

"The Iranians are succeeding in progressing their nuclear program without stirring anger from the international community. The nuclear deal is fairly dead, not just because of their advances in the nuclear program, but also the sale of drones to Russia and the protests," said Haliva.

"In my opinion, the time is near when the greatest test of the international community will come to be: Iran will play with 90% enrichment [of uranium]. Even if it's just symbolic."