Gantz says Israel will 'never come to terms' with a nuclear Iran

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, defense minister says world powers must maintain surveillance of Tehran's uranium enrichment and prevent development of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads

Itamar EIchner|
Defense Minister Minister Benny Gantz said on Sunday that Israel "will never come to terms" with Iran becoming a nuclear threshold state.
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  • Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Gantz said all steps must be taken "to ensure Iran never becomes a nuclear state".
    Gantz said that an agreement that is likely to be signed between world powers and Iran in Vienna, that may come as soon as this week, cannot be the end of the efforts to stop Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
    "Action must be taken to ensure that Iran does not continue to enrich in additional facilities and oversight must be increased," Gant said, adding that IAEA must continue to monitor and investigate open files, referring to Iranian violations of the 2015 deal.
    "Development of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads must be stopped," Gantz said.
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    גנץ בועידת השלום במינכן
    גנץ בועידת השלום במינכן
    Benny Gantz speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday
    (Photo: Munich Security Conference)
    "It is critical that the sunset clause is not understood as an expiration date that enables Iran to revisit its nuclear ambitions."
    Gantz said Iran's aggressions go beyond its nuclear program and that it was behind attacks on, among others, Israel's regional partners.
    "Iran takes over failed states, forcing them to defend Iranian interests while committing human rights violations," he said.
    The defense minister accused Iran of endangering innocent civilians when it transports weapons systems to its proxies via the Syrian port of Latakia.
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    תרגיל צבאי באיראן
    תרגיל צבאי באיראן
    Iran launches a ballistic missile during a military drill last December
    (Photo: AFP)
    He also warned the Iran-backed Hezbollah group in Lebanon that Israel will defend its security and if attacked it would respond forcefully while holding Lebanon responsible.
    Earlier, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told the cabinet the pending return of world's powers to the nuclear deal with Iran will delay its plans to acquire a weapon by no more than 2.5 years.
    "Unless the deal includes an extension of restrictions [on uranium enrichment] on Iran - due to expire in 2025 - stadium-full centrifuges will be put into action and in exchange Iran will receive tens of billions of dollars in sanction relief," he said.
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