Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced Wednesday that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are preparing to take military action if necessary, to block the Iranian regime from becoming a nuclear power following Iran’s “declaration of intent” to continue pursuing nuclear weapons.
“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,” said Gantz to a group of new IDF graduates.
Iran recently revoked the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) right to conduct snap inspections, a move that raises a threat to Israel and would allow Iran to continue its nuclear weapons development without the risk of undeclared site inspection.
“Iran’s policy is a declaration of intent as to its desire to continue to secretly develop nuclear capabilities. Israel sees this as step as a threat, and it must not go by without response. We will never allow Iran to control the capability to acquire a nuclear weapon,” said Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Gabi Ashkenazi.
Iran is already producing enriched uranium up to 20 percent and has threatened this week to take levels up to 60 percent.
“Iran executed undeclared activity with nuclear materials at [a minimum of] four different sites and did not report where the same nuclear materials are located today,” reads Israel’s MFA announcement, citing an IAEA report from the Director General.
While oversight of Iran’s nuclear activity was already questionable in its efficacy, Israel is concerned that “without oversight, Iran will continue to covertly advance its nuclear program.”
Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu made clear that “Israel isn’t pinning its hopes on an agreement with an extremist regime like [Iran]. We already saw what these agreements are worth…With or without an agreement, we will do everything so [Iran isn’t] armed with nuclear weapons,” reported The Jerusalem Post.
Gantz is calling upon the international community, particularly the U.S., Europe, and Middle Eastern allies to come together to counter the threat posed by Iran.
Israel has consistently opposed the U.S. rejoining the original 2015 JCPOA due in large part to the deal’s failure to address Iran’s state sponsorship of regional terrorism or its ballistic missiles program.
However, “a diplomatic solution is always preferable to a military solution…the question is whether there will be an agreement that blocks any way Iran can get a nuclear weapon,” said Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Gilad Erdan.