The IDF is preparing in case it needs to take action against Iran, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said at a graduate ceremony for new IDF officers on Wednesday.
“The IDF is currently working to build up our forces and is preparing itself for any scenario, including one in which we would need to take operative action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons,” he said.
Gantz emphasized the need for Israel to work with its allies to counter the Iranian threat.
“Iran is a global and regional problem before anything else, although, it certainly also threatens Israel,” he said. “That’s why we need to work together with our allies; with the US, with Europe, and with our new partners in the Middle East.”
Any agreement between world powers and Iran should be “one that ends its nuclear project, enables long-term effective oversight and inspection, and puts a stop to Iranian entrenchment in Syria, Yemen and Iraq,” Gantz stated.
Even with an agreement, the knowledge and experience Iran has accumulated in violating the 2015 nuclear deal cannot be reversed, he pointed out.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi warned that “the Iranian policy is a declaration of intent to continue developing hidden nuclear capabilities.”
Gantz and Ashkenazi’s remarks came a day after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a report on Iran, which said the country has produced 17.6 kg of uranium enriched up to 20%, as it said it would earlier this year. The report also said that uranium particles were found at at least four undeclared sites, and Tehran did not report where the nuclear materials are currently located.
The report came on the same day that Iran announced it would no longer comply with the Additional Protocol to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the 2015 Iran Deal is called, which instituted snap IAEA inspections. Iran’s government had previously reached an agreement with the IAEA to allow three more months of inspections, but reneged.
“Israel sees this step as a threat that cannot be left without a response,” Ashkenazi said. “We will never allow Iran the capability to attain a nuclear weapon.”