“The mutual and main goal of action for the two armies is thwarting Iranian aggression,” Kochavi said at Centcom headquarters.
By World Israel News Staff
The Biden administration reaffirmed a U.S. commitment not to allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons as IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi wrapped up four days of discussions with American defense and intelligence officials.
According to a White House statement, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told Kochavi that President Joe Biden has a “commitment to ensuring that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon.”
The statement added that Sullivan “reaffirmed President Biden’s unwavering support for Israel’s security and commitment to continuing to strengthen the defense partnership between the two countries.”
Israel opposes the U.S. returning to the JCPOA nuclear agreement from which Washington withdrew in 2018. The sixth round of indirect U.S.-Iran talks in Vienna concluded on Sunday, with a new round yet to be scheduled. Returning the U.S. to the nuclear deal is a foreign policy priority for the Biden administration, believing the agreement can be strengthened through talks.
But White House hopes have been complicated by the election of President Ebrahim Raisi, a hardliner also referred to as the “Butcher of Tehran,” and a mysterious drone attack on an atomic facility for which Iran blames Israel.
Other top officials who Kochavi met with included U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, and CIA director William Burns. In several of the discussions, Kochavi was joined by Israel’s Ambasador to the U.S. and UN Gilad Erdan.
According to the IDF, Kochavi reiterated the “failures of the current nuclear deal” and sought to impress his American counterparts with other suggested approaches to counter the Iranian threat.
On Wednesday, Kochavi visited the Florida headquarters of the U.S. Military’s Central Command (Centcom), whose area of responsibility includes the Middle East and parts of Asia. Kochavi discussed the Iranian threat, the recent Gaza conflict and developments in Syria with Centcom commander Gen. Frank McKenzie.
“The mutual and main goal of action for the two armies is thwarting Iranian aggression,” Kochavi said at Centcom. “Iran seeks to establish and entrench terrorists in many countries (and) continues to pose a regional threat in terms of nuclear proliferation, advanced weapons systems including ballistic missile capabilities, and the financing of terrorist armies.”
The Israeli government will watch closely how the Biden administration reacts to Kochavi’s visit. Outgoing Israeli President Reuven Rivlin is scheduled to visit the White House on June 28, where it is expected that he too will bring up the Iranian issue.