Outgoing Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that Israel has the capability to strike Iran’s nuclear operations, but must carefully weigh any decision.
Gantz shared the views with military reporters during questions on Monday.
“Israel has the ability to act in Iran. We have the readiness, development capabilities, and long-term plans we are managing. We need to prepare for this possibility, and we will also need to consider this issue very carefully before carrying it out,” Gantz said.
The question arose after Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi said that Benjamin Netanyahu would likely order a strike on Iran’s nuclear efforts if a diplomatic deal is not achieved between Iran and the U.S.
Hanegbi warned that Netanyahu “will act, in my assessment, to destroy the nuclear facilities in Iran. When there is no choice, someone needs to take command — it will be Netanyahu,” according to the Jerusalem Post.
Gantz also said that he expected Iranian hostility to grow due to its ongoing relationship with Russia. Iran has recently sold drones to Russia’s military for use in its invasion of Ukraine.
“I predict that the Iranian hostility will receive a boost as a result of the relations with Russia and the ongoing struggle between the world powers. And this will have an impact on the entire region,” he said.
One safeguard in the process of defending against Iran has been the development of stronger relations with surrounding nations in the Middle East. The Abraham Accords, signed two years ago between Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, have led to several areas of cooperation.
Netanyahu has also campaigned on plans to further improve relations with Saudi Arabia. Israel also already holds peace agreements with Egypt and Lebanon.
New coordination has also recently occurred with Qatar as the nation hosts the World Cup.