Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi: Iran now most dangerous country in the region

IDF: 'Iran also presents threats in the form of conventional weapons'.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Aviv Kochavi
Aviv Kochavi
IDF spokesperson

During an IDF ceremony last Thursday, Chief of Staff Kochavi said, among other things that "Iran has become the most dangerous country in the Middle East, having made what he termed "considerable progress in its nuclear program," but that "Iran's nuclear capability is no longer its only threat."

"Iran also holds conventional weapons. It assists and finances our first circle of enemies headed by Hezbollah, influences and assists Hamas and the Islamic Jihad and is responsible for attempted terrorist attacks against Israel in a number of spheres, both near and far." "In light of this, an IDF division charged with round-the-clock monitoring developments in [Iran] has been established," he added.

Head of Strategy and Third Circuit Maj. Gen. Tal Kalman said at the ceremony that "major changes have taken place over the past years—the [geopolitical situation] in the region remains very dynamic. The IDF has strengthened its position as an actor in the national security sphere and has expanded its collaboration in international [markets], challenging [other] global players in these spheres." "The IDF must continue to operate in a variety of arenas…," he added.

Earlier in the day, it was reported that former US National Security Advisor John Bolton claimed President Trump said he would back Israel if it used military force against Iran.

Bolton, who served for 17 months as Trump’s NSA, alleges in his new 592-page book, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, that he urged the president not to try to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict, and instead focus his efforts in the Middle East on ensuring that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon.

In part, Bolton called on Trump to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, hinting that it might be necessary to use force to prevent Tehran from gaining nuclear weapons.

"I warned Trump against wasting political capital in an elusive search to solve the Arab-Israeli dispute and strongly supported moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, thereby recognizing it as Israel’s capital," Bolton wrote. "On Iran, I urged that he press ahead to withdraw from the nuclear agreement and explained why the use of force against Iran’s nuclear program might be the only lasting solution."

The book is set to be released on Tuesday, after a federal court judge rejected a petition by the Justice Department, which had sued to block the book’s release claiming it contains classified information and that Bolton violated a non-disclosure agreement.

In sections of the book released Wednesday and published by CNN, Bolton further claimed that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu felt serious concerns regarding Trump’s selection of his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner to head up a team charged with drafting the administration’s Middle East peace plan. The claims were rejected by Netanyahu on Thursday.

Last week, Trump blasted Bolton as a “sick puppy” in a series of tweets.

During an interview with ABC News, Bolton said President Trump is not ‘fit for office’ and doesn’t ‘have the competence’ to serve as president.