Tehran is two months away from nuclear weapons capacity, according to Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
“Iran is only two months away from acquiring the materials necessary for a nuclear weapon,” Gantz told a gathering of 60 ambassadors in Tel Aviv.
Gantz said that the world needed an alternative to the 2015 Iran Nuclear deal, in case it fails entirely.
“We do not know if the Iranian regime will be willing to sign an agreement and come back to the negotiation table – and the international community must build a viable ‘Plan B’ in order to stop Iran in its tracks toward a nuclear weapon,” Gantz said.
The preferred option, he said, is a diplomatic one.
“At the end of the day, the goal is to reach a ‘longer, stronger and broader’ agreement than the previous one,” Gantz said. An “Iranian nuclear program could incite an arms race in the region and the entire world.”
He still hinted that a military solution was possible, if diplomacy failed.
“The State of Israel has the means to act and will not hesitate to do so – I do not rule out the possibility that Israel will have to take action in the future in order to prevent a nuclear Iran,” Gantz said.
At present, the “Iranian threat is land-based,” with Tehran operating “via its proxies in Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza,” he said.
Gantz also alleged that Tehran was behind last month’s attack on the Mercer Street ship, in which the captain and a crew member were killed.
“Our assessment is that the UAV employed in the Mercer Street attack was launched from Iranian territory and approved by Iranian leadership,” Gantz said.
According to the Israeli Defense Minister, “Iran’s capacity for conventional violence is increasing”.
He pointed out that Tehran has more than doubled its military investment over the last five years from $22 billion to $49b.
“All of Iran’s acts of aggression this far have been conducted without nuclear capabilities. Imagine what would happen if Iran achieves nuclear capabilities?” he asked.
Gantz highlighted Iran’s activity in neighboring Lebanon, which is in the midst of a severe economic crisis.
“Every couple of houses in Lebanon are used to store [some of the] thousands of rockets and missiles,” he said. “Iran and Hezbollah are exploiting the crisis in Lebanon and are undermining the Lebanese government.”
He spoke just one day before Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is scheduled to present such an alternative plan to US President Joe Biden at the White House.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Israeli Air Strikes Hit Hamas Facilities In Gaza
- Syria’s Air Defenses Intercepted 22 Missiles During Recent Israeli Attack: Russian MoD