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IDF chief to make first US visit next week to discuss Iran, Hezbollah

According to the military, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi will fly to the United States on Sunday to address the danger posed by Iran's nuclear program and its entrenchment in the region.

Kohavi's journey, which is his first since taking office, comes at a time when the US and Israel are at odds over Iran's nuclear program.

Kohavi made waves shortly after Biden's inauguration in January with an especially blunt, blatant speech arguing against the US rejoining the agreement, calling it a "evil thing."

The IDF chief will meet with top US defense officials during his tour, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, US Central Command Commander Kenneth McKenzie, and US Special Operations Command Commander Richard Clark.

“During his meeting, the chief of staff will discuss current shared security challenges with his counterparts, primarily those related to the Iranian nuclear threat, Iran's entrenchment efforts in the Middle East in general and on the northern front in particular, Hezbollah armament efforts, the consequences of the precision-guided missile threat, and joint force build-up,” the IDF said in a statement.

Kohavi will be the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's official guest during his visit to the US.

On the trip will be Kohavi's wife, Yael, as well as the IDF's security attaché to the United States, Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs, the head of the IDF's Iran-focused Strategic and Third Ring Directorate, Maj. Gen. Tal Kalman, and the head of the IDF's international relations department, Brig. Gen. Effi Defrin. During the tour, Fuchs, Kalman, and Defrin were all expected to have high-level meetings with their American counterparts.

Other top Israeli defense officials, including National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, Mossad leader Yossi Cohen, and Military Intelligence Commander Tamir Hayman, are scheduled to visit the US in the coming weeks.

On Thursday, Kohavi, Ben-Shabbat, Cohen, and Hayman were to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz to coordinate their messages to their American counterparts.

Israel is worried that the US is rushing back to the 2015 agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and is ignoring Israel's and other Middle Eastern countries' concerns, especially those in the Gulf.

Americans countered that Israel was not paying enough attention to the administration's call for "no surprises" from either side on Iran affairs, according to Israeli sources quoted by the Axios news outlet.


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Aviv Kohavi Hezbollah IDF Iran Israel


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