Iran and its surrogates are ceaselessly attempting to destabilize and compromise Israel’s borders, with the Islamic Republic directly involved in each and every one of the regional conflicts in countries surrounding the Jewish state, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said Sunday.
During a visit to the Golan Heights, Gantz stated that Israel’s army was tirelessly working to ensure that its borders remain safe, but added that regional unrest was providing fertile ground for a highly explosive situation.
Iran “is handing out torches to pyromaniacs,” the IDF chief of staff said. “[It is providing its surrogates with] ammunition, rockets, and is heavily involving itself in the fighting.”
Gantz added that the relative quiet along Israel’s borders was misleading, and that hostile forces were constantly attempting to find and take advantage of Israeli security vulnerabilities.
“Each and every one of our fronts is in a tense state right now,” he said. “Quiet, I would say, yet tense, everyday.”
Also Sunday, US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman and Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz held a nearly five-hour meeting in Jerusalem to discuss the technological, political and intelligence aspects of the Iranian nuclear program, as well as the interim agreement signed between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 world powers in Geneva last November and the ongoing talks on a permanent accord.
During the Meeting, Steinitz reiterated Israel’s stance that any final agreement with Iran must ensure that the Tehran dismantles its capacity to develop nuclear weapons.
On Saturday, Sherman stated that the US is committed to reaching a final deal with Iran by July. Sherman added that the US would never allow Tehran to produce nuclear arms.
The undersecretary said the US had begun “tough negotiations” that will continue through July, by which time she hopes the sides will reach a comprehensive agreement.
The P5+1 and Iran are set to reconvene in Vienna on March 17, having met in the Austrian capital last week.
The talks are designed to build on a first-step deal reached in November that commits Iran to initial nuclear curbs in return for some easing of sanctions.
The deal can be extended by mutual consent after six months.
Times of Israel Staff and the Associated Press contributed to this report.