Gantz planning for military action against Iran

Gantz planning for military action against Iran
During a trip to the US, Defence Minister Benny Gantz said that preparations were being made for a military strike against Iran, in the event that nuclear negotiations fail.
3 min read
12 December, 2021
The US voiced no opposition to Israel's military plans [Getty]

Israel’s Defence Minister announced on Saturday that he had ordered the army to prepare for an attack against Iran, Israeli media reported.

Benny Gantz made the announcement during his trip to the US, where he is looking for support and approval, and for the US to increase its pressure on Iran

Gantz reportedly told US officials that a date had been set, by when all preparations for an attack will need to be completed. 

According to senior diplomatic sources who spoke to The Jerusalem Post, no opposition to the plans was voiced by the US. 

The Israeli defence minister held a meeting with US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin on Thursday, where he sought to emphasise Iran's weak position. 

"Iran currently has terrible cards; its economic situation is difficult. Therefore, there’s room for international pressure – diplomatic, economic and military – so that Iran will stop its fantasies about the nuclear program," said Gantz. 

It was also revealed last week, that Gantz and Austin were expected to discuss joint military preparations, and that training exercises would be conducted in the summer. 

Prospects of joint US-Israeli military exercises angered Iran, who warned of a response if they went ahead. 

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"Providing conditions for military commanders to test Iranian missiles with real targets will cost the aggressors a heavy price," a senior Iranian military official told Nournews.

During his trip, Gantz also sought for increased diplomatic pressure on Iran, asking US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to expand sanction on Iran, in an effort to get it to step back from its nuclear programme. 

The following day, Blinken held meetings with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, where the issue of Iran was also raised. 

The two diplomats discussed "the enduring importance of the US-Israel bilateral relationship, Israeli-Palestinian issues, and regional developments, such as our shared conviction that Iran must not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon", according to the US State Department. 

During the talks Lapid implored Blinken not to relax the pressure on Iran. 

"Even if there is a return to negotiations, sanctions on Iran must not be lifted. The money the Iranians will receive will reach our doorstep in the form of terrorism and missiles," Lapid told Blinken, according to the Foreign Ministry. 

The Biden administration has sought a resumption of the Iran nuclear agreement, in exchange for an easing of sanctions, which Israel has been vocally opposed to. 

Following his meeting in the US Capitol, Gantz said he believed much hung on the fate of the ongoing nuclear negotiations in Vienna. 

"I think that in the coming weeks we will know where we stand," Gantz said.