Defense Minister Benny Gantz asserts the selection of Ebraihim Raisi as Iran’s new president shows the Islamic Republic is seeking to radicalize further and continue its alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons.
“His appointment to the position proves that Iran is moving toward radicalization, proliferation, and the continued development of weapons of mass destruction that are liable to threaten the world, the stability of the region and also the State of Israel,” Gantz says, at an awards ceremony for Israelis who served during the 18-year military occupation of southern Lebanon.
He adds: “Israel will stand firm, and won’t go silently as an existential threat hovers above it. We are preparing and will continue to prepare plans to prevent it.”
He also comments on Israel-US ties, a day after former premier Benjamin Netanyahu criticized Foreign Minister Yair Lapid over Lapid’s assurance to the Biden administration that Jerusalem will update Washington in advance of any military action taken against Iran.
“We will also share knowledge and information, and coordinate with our friends, first and foremost the United States,” Gantz says. “With this we will always maintain our right, our ability and our duty to independently defend ourselves. This is how it was and how it will be.”