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Defense Minister Vows Israel Will Act against Iran if Necessary

July 5, 2021

by: Kate Norman

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Then-IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz visiting IDF bases in 2014

Monday, 5 July 2021 | Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz vowed Sunday that Israel will do whatever it takes to block Iran’s nuclear ambitions, after Israel blamed Iran for an attack on a cargo ship in the Indian Ocean that was previously owned by an Israeli company.

“We are in a conflict with Iran,” Gantz told Channel 13 yesterday. “We have to defend ourselves. We are determined to prevent Iran from going nuclear and we are determined to prevent Iran’s active, negative behavior in our region. They know we know how to act.”

A cargo ship traveling from Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates was attacked in the Indian Ocean on Saturday. No casualties or severe damage were reported, but Israel blamed the attack on Iran, as the ship was recently sold by an Israeli-owned company to a London-based company. The Islamic regime likely had bad intel and attacked the ship in retaliation for an attack on one of its nuclear sites last month, experts speculate.

The Karaj site, located just outside of Tehran, weathered a drone attack last month. The regime in Tehran claimed that it thwarted the attack and undertook no damage, but photos from an independent Israeli intelligence organization that takes and analyzes satellite images suggest otherwise.

The Intel Lab on Sunday published satellite images of the Karaj plant before and after the June 23 attack, apparently debunking Iran’s boast that the drone attack caused no damage. The firm included images from the site before June 23 and a photo taken afterwards that shows one of the buildings missing a roof. The roof was likely removed as part of clean-up efforts, Intel Lab said, and a view inside the building through the temporary hole shows a blackened interior, likely from a fire.

Iran never explicitly blamed Israel for the attack, but Israeli experts believe the attack on the ship in the Indian Ocean this weekend was meant to serve as Tehran’s response.

The Karaj site is the location of a company that produces centrifuges, namely to replace the centrifuges that were damaged at the Natanz nuclear site, which has sustained multiple attacks over the years—also attributed to Israel.

The back-and-forth covert strikes have heightened tensions between Israel and Iran, especially amid ongoing talks between Iran and the US to return to the 2015 nuclear deal.

Former US President Donald Trump exited the deal in 2018 and reimposed heavy sanctions against the regime in order to cripple its nuclear development. The new administration under President Joe Biden is keen to return to the deal. However, the talks are yielding slow progress.

Israel has voiced its objections to Washington, and the two have agreed to keep each other apprised of any developments regarding Iran and the nuclear talks.

Nonetheless, Israel’s leaders have vowed to prevent Tehran from achieving a nuclear weapon, even acting alone if necessary.

“Israel will continue to act with everything at its disposal in order to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and to prevent its efforts to rearm, to entrench itself or to harm Israel—from the air, from land, from the cyber domain or from the sea,” Gantz said at a military ceremony Sunday night. “We will do so at the time and place that is right for us, and we will preserve our military superiority for the stability of the region and the security of the region.”

Posted on July 5, 2021

Source: (Bridges for Peace, July 5, 2021)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

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