Israel is prepared to attack in Iran, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Thursday.
Asked in an interview broadcast on a local media website whether Israel is prepared to assault Iran, Gantz gave a one-word answer: “‘Yes.”
Gantz also replied in the affirmative when asked whether the country’s military is also ready for a multifront conflict that might include Iran, while adding that Israel must continue to develop its capabilities.
Israel has said frequently that it is ready to take military action to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but Gantz’s comments are noteworthy because they come at a time of raised tensions in the region. Israel says it’s given allies “hard evidence” that the Islamic Republic was behind last week’s deadly drone attack on an Israeli-managed tanker in the Gulf of Oman, and early this week the U.K. Navy reported a suspected ship hijacking in waters near Iran.
The U.S., U.K. and Israel have all said they’d respond to the tanker attack. Tehran denies involvement in either incident.
Frictions involving Iran have coincided with the installation of an ultraconservative new president, and cloudy prospects for talks with world powers over reviving the frayed 2015 nuclear deal that Israel opposes.
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