Gantz: Iran Just Ten Weeks From Breakout to Nuclear Weapon

YERUSHALAYIM -
Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks with diplomats from U.N. Security Council member states at the Foreign Ministry in Yerushalayim, Wednesday. (MFA)

Iran will be able to break out to a nuclear weapon within ten weeks, Defense Minister Benny Gantz told diplomats from U.N. Security Council member states on Wednesday.

“Iran has violated all of the guidelines set in the JCPOA [nuclear agreement] and is only around ten weeks away from acquiring weapons-grade materials necessary for a nuclear weapon,” Gantz warned. “Therefore,” he added, “it is time to act. The world must apply economic sanctions and take operative action against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.”

Gantz’s remarks were made in a presentation together with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to diplomats from Security Council member states on Wednesday, as part of a push by Israel for the UNSC to sanction Iran for its maritime attacks, including on the Mercer Street, which is managed by an Israeli company, and Asphalt Princess in the Gulf in the past week.

These attacks are not just on Israel, but are on the world, and therefore the world must react in a united way to ensure Iran takes responsibility for its aggression, was the senior ministers’ message. However, they told the ambassadors that Israel would retain its freedom to act against Iran in response to any attacks or threats on its citizens.

Gantz said that IRGC Air Force Commander Amir Ali Hajezda is the force behind dozens of UAV and missile attacks in the region, while IRGC UAV Command head Saeed Ara Jani is directly responsible for launching suicide drones.

“Ara Jani is the head operator of the IRGC Air Force’s UAV system, which struck the Mercer Street,” Gantz stated. “He provides the supplies, training, plans and is responsible for many acts of terror in the region.”

Gantz pointed out that Iran is responsible for dozens of terrorist attacks in the Middle East, and operates proxies in Yemen, Iraq and other countries.

The defense minister said he would provide the participating countries with detailed intelligence on the matter.

Lapid pointed out that Iran’s latest attacks “are on international trade routes. This is an attack on freedom of movement. This is an international crime.

“What is the international community going to do about it? Does international law still exist? Does the world have the ability and the will to enforce it?” he asked. “If the answer is yes, the world needs to act now.”

Lapid argued that if the world does not respond to the latest incidents, then there is no international community, and it will be “every man for himself.”

Security Council members with representation in Israel are the U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China, India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, Norway and Vietnam. Saint Vincent, the Grenadines and Estonia do not have an embassy in Israel, and Israel does not have diplomatic relations with Niger and Tunisia. In January, the situation in the UNSC will be more favorable to Israel, as all members that do not have diplomatic ties with Israel will leave and be replaced with countries that do.