Israel’s top general appeared to refer implicitly to Iran in comments Sunday about Israeli military operations.
Israel's Army Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi said his army had obtained an enhanced offensive capability ready to transform its training to military operations at any time.
His comments came following reports claiming that the Israeli Mossad intelligence service had a role in an attack that targeted Tehran’s Natanz nuclear site.
The army’s “operations in the Middle East are not hidden from the eyes of the enemy,” Kohavi said at a memorial service in Jerusalem for fallen soldiers.
“They are watching us, seeing [our] abilities and weighing their steps with caution,” he added.
Kohavi also highlighted the drills scheduled for May and said it will be a month of the war, during which “we will conduct training on various fighting methods."
“We are ready to transform this military drill into an actual military operation,” he commented in a direct threat to Tehran.
He also responded to accusations and threats against Israel following a mine attack on an Iranian freighter in the Red Sea.
“Thanks to other complex and smart military operations, and thanks to you, soldiers and officers of the Israeli army, the past year has been one of the most secure for Israel and its citizens,” Kohavi told his soldiers.
The military commander’s remarks came hours after published Iranian reports indicated that the Natanz nuclear facility faced a technical incident, before confirming that it has been attacked.
It is still unclear whether Israel truly is involved in the “very suspicious” incident at Natanz, Ynet’s senior Israeli defense analyst and veteran military correspondent Ron Ben-Yishai wrote on Sunday.
“It is also unclear how severe the damage is to the facility, but it has certainly delayed the use of the new centrifuges unveiled just days ago - and older centrifuges used for enriching uranium were also impacted.”
According to Ben-Yishai, Iran decided to announce the incident for two reasons. Firstly, UN inspectors and their monitoring cameras were still active at Natanz and would have been able to detect the malfunction.
Secondly, the Iranians, who have observed an increase in the Israeli propensity to brag about covert operations, hoping to use any Israeli reaction to gauge whether it indeed had a hand in it.
The analyst also noted that Saturday was National Nuclear Technology Day in Iran, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that his country was experimenting at Natanz with at least three new types of centrifuges able to enrich uranium 10-50 times faster than before.
“This means that Tehran would be able to quickly increase its uranium enrichment production, making it able to produce a nuclear weapon within weeks and not one year,” he noted.
He said Israel fears the Iranians will achieve this goal and the world will have missed the opportunity to stop Iran, thereby leaving the Islamic Republic with nuclear capabilities - with all its implications for the Middle East and the entire world.