Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi warned on Sunday that “Iran has become the most dangerous country in the Middle East.”

Speaking at a ceremony at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv marking a change in the leadership of the IDF Planning Directorate, Kochavi said the threat Iran poses to the entire Middle East extends beyond its quest to acquire nuclear weapons.

The Islamic Republic “has made considerable progress in its nuclear program, but the nuclear [threat] is no longer the only threat,” said Kochavi. “True, [Iran] is in the third circle [of threat], but it is most influential in the first and second circles.”

The IDF defines the three concentric circles of threat—the first being non-state actors on Israel’s borders, such as Hamas and Hezbollah; the second being neighboring hostile states; and the third being countries that do not share a border with Israel, such as Iran.

“Iran also holds conventional weapons,” continued Kochavi. “It is supporting and financing our enemies in the first circle, primarily Hezbollah, it has influence and supports Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, and it is behind attempted terrorist attacks against Israel in a variety of fields, near and far.”

In addition to Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar taking over command of the Planning Directorate (which has been renamed the Force Design Directorate) from Maj. Gen. Amir Abulafia, Maj. Gen. Tal Kalman was installed during Sunday’s ceremony as the new head of the IDF’s newly created Strategy and Third-Circle Directorate, which will mainly focus on Iran.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.