IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said Wednesday that "determined action" on the part of the international community could compel Iran to abandon its nuclear program.
"There is no doubt that Iran is striving to develop nuclear capabilities for military purposes," Gantz said at the Herzliya Conference on security, adding that the Islamic Republic's atom ambitions "must be disrupted."
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The general noted that Iran is seeking to obtain nuclear weapons to bolster its deterrence, and warned it could cross the nuclear threshold within a year.
Gantz on Wednesday (Photo: Osim Tzilum)
"This immunity that (Iran) seeks will be used to influence the surrounding Gulf states, and to further its interests in countries worldwide," he said.
"I am sure that if we tune in to what's going on in the Gulf nations, we will find them no less concerned than we are. But we can't forget that the State of Israel is the only country that has become the target of another state's threats of destruction... This is not something that can be ignored."
Gantz added that the arms race in the region poses a risk for the Jewish state more than any other.
"Some of the largest arms caches are found in Gaza and Lebanon, which are supplied by Iran, Syria and Russia, which continues to send weapons to Syria without knowing who will rule it next," he said. "(…) the bad news is that the target of all this armament is Israel."
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