Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz speaks at the Reichman University’s Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS) in the Mediterranean coastal city of Herzliya on Nov 23, 2021. (AFP)

March 4, 2022

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Israel would continue to do “whatever it takes” to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities.

He made his remarks in wake of reports in Tel Aviv on Thursday that the United States had agreed to ease sanctions on non-nuclear parties, such as military militias operating in the Middle East.

Addressing a graduation ceremony for naval officers, Gantz said: “In the coming weeks, perhaps even in the coming days, a nuclear agreement may be signed between [world] powers and Iran… Whether that happens or not, Israel will continue to do whatever it takes to prevent Iran from becoming an existential threat and possessing nuclear capability.”

“We will also continue our diplomatic activity because Iran is first and foremost a global problem, then a regional problem, and it is also a potential threat to the State of Israel… We will continue to build our military force… All means are valid,” he stressed.

Israeli Channel 12 quoted sources as saying that the United States will lift the sanctions that have been imposed for years on dozens of individuals and entities involved in terrorism and missile development. They include, according to the sources, the economic institutions of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, as well as Khamenei’s senior advisor in international affairs, Ali Akbar Velayati, and his military advisor, Hossein Dehghan, who was sanctioned for his role in the 1983 bombing of the US Marines headquarters in Beirut.

Ehud Yaari, commentator in Israel’s Channel 12 on Middle Eastern affairs, said US negotiators were making incomprehensible concessions in the ongoing talks in Vienna, which angered the representatives of Western European countries in the negotiations, in particular France.

The journalist speculated that the leaks that came out of the negotiations were made by angry French sources, “who, in this way, want to express their discontent, as well as rally external pressure.”

In this regard, Yaari stressed that if a nuclear agreement with Iran was reached, “it will be several times worse than the previous agreement in 2015.”

Asharq Al-Awsat

About Track Persia

Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.