Chief Of Staff Benny Gantz: ‘Israel Defense Forces Are Super Ready For Iran & Other Potential Threats From Current Upheaval In Middle East’
n advance of new nuclear talks with Iran, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz has assessed the current range of threats now facing Israel. With the ‘Arab Spring’ raging in Egypt and elsewhere, the probability of a planned war against Israel was low. But on the other hand, the Arab Street was ‘very volatile’ and could spark a spontaneous flare-up. First and foremost there was Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons and although Syria was rent by internal strife, Syria’s military capabilities have not been downgraded. Analyst David Essing reports on the closed door briefing of Israel’s top soldier to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
‘Super ready’ that was how Gen. Benny Gantz depicted the IDF’s state of preparedness in light of Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons, the meltdown in Syria and an uncertain election in Egypt. Israel’s top commander had to be ready to cope with threats on various fronts.
‘Iran Is Bent On Acquiring Nuclear Weapons But Has Yet To Decide On Crossing Nuclear Threshold Because Of Its Strategic Considerations’
he Iranians are striving to get their hands on nuclear weapons but they had still not crossed the threshold and broken out for the bomb. Why not? For their own strategic considerations – today Iran is facing more severe sanctions and there is the military threat posed by Israel and the U.S. In any case, Gen. Gantz said he had full confidence in the Israel Air Force and the IDF Intelligence Branch. He criticized what he called ‘a lot of loose talk in the public dialogue on whether Israel should go it alone and attack Iran’. In a clear reference to former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, Gen. Gantz cracked: ‘In the past, some people knew the facts, that doesn’t mean they know them today. In fact, only a very few people now know what Israel is capable of and what it is not. Any professional discussion should be conducted inside the appropriate forums. In any case only the Iranians could decide whether or not they will give up their nuclear program and we must be ready’.