Israel is preparing for the possibility of an armed conflict with regional arch-rival Iran and its proxies if the JCPOA talks do not stop Iran from pursuing its nuclear program. 

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Israel will carry out operations that “haven’t been seen in the past, with means that weren’t in our hands in the past, that will harm the heart of terror and its abilities,” if war breaks out in the region. 

Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi said Tuesday to the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the army “is accelerating operational planning and preparedness to deal with Iran and the military nuclear threat. Thankfully, the budget that was approved [last week] makes it possible to contend with a variety of threats.”

The Israeli Air Force went public with its intent to resume attack plans against Iranian nuclear facilities. It has set aside funds to prepare for this contingency. 

Benny Gantz with troops
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz with Israeli troops on their border. (Wikimedia Commons)

The issue is a return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that Iran signed in 2015 with the Obama administration. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the time, protested the JCPOA as not preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapon capability.

Israel later conducted an intelligence operation that stole Iranian nuclear secrets. These clearly showed that Iran never wavered from trying to produce nuclear weapons. 

After President Trump withdrew from the JCPOA. the agreement once again became an issue for the Israelis as Iran was clearly violating its terms.