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Bennett, Gantz urge tougher line on Iran, warn Israel ready to act alone

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

From left to right: IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz attend a military drill in northern Israel on November 16, 2021. (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)
From left to right: IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz attend a military drill in northern Israel on November 16, 2021. (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)

Top Israeli officials call on the world powers to take action against Iran, but warn that Jerusalem is prepared to act alone if necessary against the Islamic Republic, ahead of the nuclear talks scheduled to restart later this month.

“We have been seeing Iran’s policies within Iran in terms of its nuclear program, and in terms of its armament outside of Iran and its influence in Syria and Lebanon. The world needs to act against Iran, and Israel is prepared to do what is needed on all of these fronts and on the northern front in particular,” says Defense Minister Benny Gantz, after visiting a large Israel Defense Forces exercises in northern Israel.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who visited the same exercise, discusses the nuclear negotiations, which are slated to restart in two weeks.

“We are dealing with Iran and its proxies, in Lebanon and Syria. No matter what happens between Iran and the world powers — and we are certainly concerned about the fact that there is insufficient severity in dealing with Iranian violations — Israel will protect itself with its own forces,” Bennett says.

In recent days, a number of top American officials have visited Israel to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue, ahead of the renewed talks and amid general Iranian aggression against Israel and American interests in the region.

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