Gantz says nuclear deal with Iran could be signed within days

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Speaking at a graduation ceremony of navy officers, Defense Minister Benny Gantz vows Israel will never give up on making sure Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons.

“In the coming weeks, perhaps even in the coming days, a nuclear agreement may be signed between [world] powers and Iran. Whether that happens or not, Israel will continue to do whatever it takes to prevent Iran from becoming an existential threat and possessing nuclear capability,” Gantz says.

“We will continue our diplomatic activity, because Iran is first and foremost a global and regional problem, and we will continue to build our military force. All means are valid.

“Even if an agreement is signed, we will never stop operating in diplomatic channels with the goal of tightening observation on Iran, and with real and painful consequences for any violation [of the agreement] and progress in nuclear development,” he says.

Speaking on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Gantz says: “We see the difficult and painful fighting in Ukraine, and we do not stand by idly. We are sending humanitarian aid, helping evacuate our citizens, absorbing immigrants and refugees, and are willing to expand aid in ways that will stop fighting and save lives.”

“Israel is a partner and will continue to be a partner in the international community’s effort to restore order,” he adds, without mentioning Russia by name.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks during a graduation ceremony for Israeli Navy officers at the Haifa naval base, March 2, 2022. (Screenshot: Youtube)

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