News | Israeli Military Head: Must 'Continue to Disrupt' Iran Nuke Program
02 Feb 2012 05:10
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Iran Standard Time (IRST), GMT+3:305:10 a.m., 12 Bahman/February 1 Addressing the annual Herzliya Conference on security issues Wednesday, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, declared that it was proper to "continue to disrupt" Iran's nuclear activities. Following are excerpts from the public statement Gantz delivered at the conference, held at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya outside of Tel Aviv:
Iran is a global problem, a regional problem, and a problem for Israel. Iran wants to solidify its regime by creating a nuclear deterrent.
There is no doubt that Iran is striving to develop nuclear capabilities for military purposes.
This [nuclear deterrent] immunity that it seeks will be used to influence the surrounding Gulf states, and to further its interests in countries worldwide.
The Middle East is undergoing the greatest military buildup in the world and we are the target.
Some of the largest arms caches are found in Gaza and Lebanon, which are supplied by Iran, Syria, and Russia, which continues to send weapons to Syria without knowing who will rule it next.
I am sure that if we tune in to what's going on in the Gulf nations, we will find them no less concerned than we are. But we can't forget that the State of Israel is the only country in the world that has become the target of another state's threats of destruction, a state which is building the tools to do it. This is not something that can be ignored.
The world and the region must continue to isolate Iran. It is correct to continue economic pressure and sanctions, from which we are starting to see signs of achievement and progress in terms of what is going on in Iran. It is correct to act and continue to disrupt processes associated with the development of the Iranian nuclear project and to work to enhance oversight over what is happening.
It is also important to continue building a credible, strong, and viable military option and be prepared to use it when the time comes.
Only the Iranian regime will decide at the end of the day if it will give up on a military nuclear capability. But determined and consistent action will bring it to this strategic insight.
For a survey of some of the actions that Israel has, or may have, taken to "disrupt" Iran's nuclear program over the past decade, see this timeline drawn up by Tehran Bureau political columnist Muhammad Sahimi. For examinations of the recent rhetoric suggesting that Israel may launch a military attack on Iranian nuclear sites, see this commentary by Sahimi and this one by Gary Sick.
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