EisenkotKobi Richter / TPS

Former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said that Iran would have obtained nuclear weapons as early as a decade ago were it not for Israeli actions to prevent

“Israel carries out diverse operations, most of which are covert, to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear capabilities,” Eisenkot said at a security conference at Netanya Academic College Wednesday. “Without these actions I believe Iran would have already become a nuclear state some 7-10 years ago.”

Eisenkot said that he views Israel's defensive capabilities in a "cup half full and a cup half empty" manner, noting the strength of the IDF.

"But if you look at the events unfolding between Russia and Ukraine, you see a country with very impressive military capabilities facing a very weak army, and you can see what international perception and support can do to a country’s prowess,” he said.

The IDF reported that dozens of fighter jets conducted aerial drills over the Mediterranean Sea to practice a long-range flight and striking distant targets yesterday.

The planes simulated a long-range flight, aerial refueling and striking distant targets, including targets as far as Iran. The drill was conducted as part of the "Chariots of Fire" exercise and accelerated preparations for multi-arena combat scenarios both near and far, as well as attacks on Iran's nuclear facilities.