"There is not one negative thing that cannot be linked to Iran, and its ties to Hezbollah and Syria create a sensitive reality that has the potential of developing," Deputy IDF Chief of Staff Major-General Benny Gantz said Monday.
Speaking at a conference held at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Gantz referred to the Iranian nuclear program as an "international problem that may accelerate the arms race in the entire region," and said that "there is no argument as to our moral right to act."
The deputy IDF chief also told the conference that Israel "cannot afford not to protect its citizens."
Addressing reports of a possible military conflict over the summer, Gantz said he does not believe hostile elements in the region have an interest in escalating the situation.
The deputy army chief called Israel's relations with the US "solid," adding "this does not mean that there are no arguments, but not a week goes by when there is no security-related interaction between (Israel) and the US, and the ties are stable."