JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz is warning that when it comes to Iran, the world faces two different realities depending on the choice leaders make.
In a briefing for the UN Security Council and Abraham Accords ambassadors, Defense Minister Gantz says Iran is advancing its nuclear capabilities, especially its rate of uranium enrichment.
“The international community must ensure military deterrence, in addition to diplomatic and economic efforts. The UN Security Council must take action in (the) face of the Iranian challenge,” Gantz said.
Israeli leaders have been especially steadfast with recent reports the US might rejoin the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal. Proponents within President Biden’s administration believe it would restrain Iran while Israel believes otherwise.
In New York, Gantz told the annual Jerusalem Post conference that world leaders must choose the reality they want in 10 years. The options he proposed are the growth of Iranian radicalism or progress, such as the Abraham Accords
Gantz calls the first scenario alarming.
“In this case, Iran succeeds to tear apart the Middle East in a calculated and bloody manner with three practical steps. First, Iran systematically (bases) itself in the region via proxies, providing them with personnel advanced weapon and military knowhow,” said Gantz.
So far in 2022, Gantz has seen a sharp rise in Iranian attacks using advanced weapons like drones and surface-to-surface missiles.
“Secondly, while the Iranian people suffer economic hardship, Iran spends huge budgets on terrorist organizations. Today, Iran provides more than 1 billion US dollars per year to its proxies in Lebanon, Yemen, and in Gaza,” Gantz said.
Resuming a nuclear agreement would lift Iranian sanctions and release billions of dollars to the regime.
“Lastly, Iran bases itself in the region by building massive terror industries,” he said, adding that “The picture only darkens if Iran will be allowed to gain this nuclear dangerous umbrella.”
Gantz believes the second choice toward progress in the region requires strong leadership, unity and pragmatic steps to address Iranian aggression.
“First, we must strengthen industrial and economic ties, followed by diplomatic, intelligence and military corporation under the CENTCOM umbrella. Secondly, …We must insist on regional and global security and regardless of a diplomatic solution, we must ensure credible military deterrents,” he said.
Finally, Gantz urged world leaders to deal with the so-called “open files” – three undeclared Iranian sites where nuclear material was found.
“The second scenario that I raised is a matter of choice and action, a matter of ensuring (the) security of the Middle East. Because only security can lead to stability, only security and stability can lead to economic prosperity,” he said.
The coming months and years will determine which road world leaders choose.
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