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Israel: army to devise new plan for attack on Iranian nuclear programme

Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in Iran seen on 10 November 2019 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]
Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in Iran seen on 10 November 2019 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]

The Chief of Staff of the Israel Defence Forces has asked officers to draw up a new plan to attack Iran's nuclear programme, Israel Hayom reported on Thursday.

General Aviv Kochavi has apparently asked the Strategy and Third Circle Directorate, also known as the Iran Directorate, to develop three alternate proposals for Israel to undermine Tehran's nuclear programme or, if necessary, to counter Iranian aggression. The plans will be presented to the government soon.

The newspaper did not elaborate on the alternatives, although it said that one of the proposals entails a military strike on Iranian nuclear sites. The development, it added, has been prompted by recent moves by Tehran, mainly its plans to accelerate the programme.

Israel opposed the agreement signed between the world powers and Iran concerning its nuclear programme in 2015. US President Donald Trump took the US out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action unilaterally in 2018, even though Iran insists that it only intends to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

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"Iran has made progress in recent years in terms of research and development, both on enriched material and offensive capabilities, and has a regime that really wants to have nuclear weapons," argued Israel's Defence Minister Benny Gantz. "It is clear that Israel needs to have a military option on the table. It requires resources and investment, and I am working to make that happen."

Earlier on Wednesday, Likud minister Tzachi Hanegbi, an ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, threatened that Israel would attack Iran's nuclear programme if the United States rejoins the JCPA. US President-elect Joe Biden has indicated that he intends to do so when he takes office.

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