Iran Says Israel's Military Chief Is Waging 'Psychological Warfare'

Aviv Kochavi has said it would be a mistake for the United States to return to the Iran nuclear deal and that military action 'must be on the table'

Jack Khoury
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Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi holds a press conference in Tel Aviv, November 12, 2019.
Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi holds a press conference in Tel Aviv, November 12, 2019.Credit: AP Photo/Oded Balilty
Jack Khoury

Iranian President Hassan Rohani's chief of staff said Wednesday that "the threats made by Israel are nothing but psychological warfare," in reference to the hawkish remarks made by Military Chief of staff Aviv Kochavi the previous day that vigorous action must be taken to guarantee that Teheran does not have a path to nuclear weapons. 

On Tuesday, Kochavi told the national conference of Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies that it would be a mistake for the United States to return to the nuclear deal, and that military action "must be on the table."

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Kochavi also said he had instructed the IDF to "draw up a number of operational plans... We are working on them diligently and will develop them over the next year."

Speaking on Iranian television, Rohani's Chief of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi said that "Israel should understand the Trump administration is history. Israel no longer controls the [U.S.] administrations' decisions now that Trump is gone."

Vaezi went on to say that "America's decisions are independent now, and that bothers Israel and the Saudis who oppose renewing negotiations of the nuclear deal."  

Vaezi said that although Iran does not intend to trigger an escalation, the Revolutionary Guards are prepared for every scenario, and Tehran will not hesitate to defend itself against any threat in the name of national security. 

On Tuesday, Iran warned the Biden administration that it will not have an indefinite time period at its disposal to rejoin the deal.

It has been just a week since the inauguration of Joe Biden, whose administration seems likely to take a more conciliatory approach to Iran.

In 2018, Former U.S. President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of Iran’s nuclear pact with Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. He also reimposed sweeping sanctions on Tehran that had been lifted under the deal, prompting Iran to violate its conditions.

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