The defense minister said Israel has identified Iranian targets to attack if Tehran continues “nuclear escalation”.
Israel’s defense minister said his country had made plans to strike Iranian targets if Tehran showed signs of nuclear escalation.
Benny Gantz told Fox News that Israel is still working on its plans, but “we have them in our hands of course.”
He showed a map of Lebanon which he said includes ground forces, missiles and launch sites set up by Iranian proxy forces along the border.
“This is a target card. Each of them has been legally, operationally, intelligence verified and we are ready to fight, ”Gantz said.
The remarks come as the administration of US President Joe Biden plans to join the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program, with some changes to tighten restrictions on Tehran’s activities.
Former President Donald Trump canceled U.S. membership in the nuclear deal and imposed sanctions instead.
“The Iranian nuclear escalation must be blocked,” Gantz said, reiterating the Israeli government’s approach to the new administration on the issue.
“Otherwise, we have to be independent and we have to defend ourselves on our own.”
“ Special security arrangement ” with the Gulf States
Gantz said on Tuesday that his country intended to develop a “special security agreement” with new Arab Gulf allies who share common concerns about Iran.
The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain established official relations with Israel last year.
While playing down media reports of establishing a formal defense pact with the Gulf countries, Gantz said the security ties would be continued.
“I don’t think it will be a defense pact, but we will develop defense relations with all the countries with which we have relations,” Gantz told Reuters news agency.
“We have this process of setting up a (a) special security arrangement, and under that arrangement we can continue and develop our relationship,” he said. Gantz declined to go into details on what such an arrangement would entail.
He further reported that Israel was not opposing the sale, approved in the last days of Trump’s tenure, of 50 Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth jets to the United Arab Emirates. The deal is currently under review by the Biden administration.
Asked about the Israeli government’s view on the sale, Gantz said Israel’s “qualitative military advantage” must be preserved by the United States, adding that the advanced warplane is already in the arsenal. from the country.