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Israel says ‘ready to attack Iran; take action now’ after Israeli ship attacked

Israeli F-16I "Sufa". (Maj. Ofer, Israeli Air Force/Released)
August 05, 2021

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Thursday that Israel is “ready to attack Iran” and called on other nations to take action with Israel.

Gantz told Israel’s Ynet, “We are at a point where we need to take military action against Iran. The world needs to take action against Iran now.”

Gantz offered his comments following an attack on an Israeli oil tanker, Mercer Street, on Friday. Israel, the U.S. and the United Kingdom suspect Iran was behind the attack on Mercer Street.

“There is no doubt that Iran seeks to pose a multi-arena challenge to Israel, so it is building its force in Lebanon and the force in Gaza, deploying militias in Syria and Iraq, supporting Houthis in Yemen,” Gantz said. “I explained to the ambassadors – Iran is a global and regional problem and a challenge to Israel.”

Gantz also said Iran has “violated all of the guidelines” of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which President Joe Biden has made efforts to restore.

Gantz then said Iran is only about 10 weeks away from having enough fissile material to form the core of a nuclear warhead.

“Iran is close to a threshold policy in everything that happens on the enrichment axis,” he said. “They have enriched uranium at 60 percent, they are accumulating quantities and knowledge, and the world needs to understand – this is not Israel’s problem. The world received an example this week.”

Mercer Street is owned Zodiac Maritime, an international ship management company headquartered in London and led by Israeli shipping businessman Eyal Ofer. While Mercer Street is an Israeli-owned ship, it employed an international crew. Last week’s attack resulted in the death of a U.K. national and a Romanian national.

“The world must face Iran both militarily, the region must face Iran and we must do our part in the story,” Gantz said.