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Israel is ready to strike Iran, says defense minister, amid simmering tensions with enduring foe

On Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz was asked by Ynet news whether Israel was ready to strike Iran. Gantz answered simply with one word – “Yes”. 

The minister went on to say that Tel Aviv sees it as important to mobilize the international community to counter Iran’s influence and growing assertiveness. “We can’t tag Iran as solely an Israeli problem and absolve the rest of the world from this issue.” 

When questioned, Gantz confirmed that he was talking about the allied nations supporting military action against Iran. “The world needs to deal with Iran, the region needs to deal with Iran, and Israel also needs to do its part in this situation,” he asserted.

On Wednesday, Gantz, along with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, identified who they believe to be the leader behind last week’s deadly drone attack, which killed two seamen on an Israeli oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman.

“Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC’s Air Force, is behind dozens of terror attacks in the region employing UAVs and missiles,” Gantz stated during a briefing at the Foreign Ministry.

The defense minister also claimed Iran was just 10 weeks away from having enough fissile material to produce a nuclear bomb, also known as ‘breakout time’. 

Tel Aviv is seeking to convene the UN Security Council over the Iranian-linked attack which killed a Briton and Romanian. Britain and the US have also stated that they believe Iran was behind the attack. 

Iran has denied any responsibility and vowed to deliver a “strong” response to any measures taken against them after the UK said it would not let the death of British sailor going unpunished. 

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