- Israel is prepared to attack Iran, said Defense Minister Benny Gantz, as his country lobbied for a response to a fatal drone attack on an Israeli-operated oil tanker that it blames on the Islamic Republic.
Should Israel attack Iran in an interview broadcast on a local media website? Gantz gave the one-word answer: 'Yes.
Why hasn't Israel seen or taken military action against Iran, Gantz questioned him on whether he wanted military action against Iran this time. Pushed further on whether that confrontation should be military, he added, 'Yes, yes, and said, 'and Israel has to do its part.
The Defense Minister also replied in the affirmative when asked whether Israel's military is ready for a multifront conflict that might involve Iran.
The United Nations Security Council will discuss Tanker attack behind closed doors, according to diplomats who asked not to be identified in advance of the session. The U.K. sent a letter to the Council this week that it was highly likely that the truck was attacked by Iran, and the U.S. urged the council to debate the attack.
Israel has said frequently that it is ready to take military action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, but Gantz's comments come at a time of raised tensions in the region over attacks at sea. Israel says it has given allies 'hard evidence' that the Islamic Republic was behind last week's deadly drone strike off the coast of Oman and early this week the U.K. Navy reported a suspected hijacking of ship in waters near Iran -
Israel and U.S. are responding to the drone attack by an American with an Israeli tanker. Tehran denies involvement in either of the incidents, which are the latest in a years-long shadow war waged on Middle East waterways crucial to oil exports.
Frictions in the Middle East have coincided with Israel having a new president and cloud prospects for talks with international powers over revoking the frayed 2015 nuclear deal that Iran opposes.