Defense Minister Benny Gantz has told officials in the United States that he has instructed the IDF to prepare for an attack on Iran in case the negotiations on a deal meant to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions fall through, sources said Saturday.
Gantz traveled to Washington on Thursday to meet with both Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to discuss the renewed talks in Vienna meant to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
Despite Israel’s warnings about Iran rapidly accelerating the pace if its nuclear program and possible consequences of lifting all sanctions currently imposed on Tehran, Gantz’s American counterparts reportedly made it clear they favor a diplomatic approach, with an attack on the Islamic Republic seen only as a last resort.
"The Americans are with us, and at the same time we, as Israelis, need to understand that the United States looks at the world broadly and has other priorities," said one Israeli source, who added that despite Washington’s apprehension, “there was no veto” regarding a potential strike on Iran.
Additionally, the source said that Washington is not far from losing patience with Iran, who seems adamant to continue its hardline stance in the ongoing negotiations.
"If [the Americans decide] they have had enough, they will not jump on the military option right away. Instead, they will put pressure on [Tehran], all while preparing [for a military action] as well.”
At the same time, American sources revealed that Austin and Gantz were expected to discuss the option of conducting joint military drills, in addition to an IDF aerial drill meant to simulate an attack against Iran.