Tuesday, October 19, 2021

‘Israel prepared for military action’ against Iran

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel remains ready to act alone to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons

Israel is prepared to act alone to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said.

The comments came during a joint news conference with the US’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

US President Donald Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran last month, saying it did not do enough to stop the country from developing a nuclear weapon.

Israel’s stance has not been always shared by the US.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Iran has vowed to retaliate against US sanctions

Speaking about sanctions imposed by the US, Mr Netanyahu said: “We’re prepared for anything, even including an act of war.”

Israel did not undertake an attack on Iran while Mr Trump was in office, he said.

Mr Netanyahu also said he believed there would be war in the Middle East “over Iran”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed the decision to reimpose sanctions against Iran was made because of international pressure, rather than because of any threats from Israel

US-Israeli Relations

Earlier on Thursday, Mr Netanyahu outlined Israel’s concerns about Iran’s expanding influence in the Middle East during a joint press conference with Mr Pompeo.

He said the nuclear deal, which he said gave Iran “breathing space”, had made it more difficult to halt the country’s nuclear ambitions.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mike Pompeo said Iran had sought to sow chaos in the Middle East

Iran has said it is committed to the deal and it intends to retaliate against US sanctions which are scheduled to be reinstated in August.

On Wednesday, the US State Department released a draft list of Iranian individuals and entities subject to new US sanctions.

It also said all existing sanctions would remain in force until Iran fulfils its obligations under the deal.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Chuck Hagel called Mr Netanyahu’s claims about the nuclear deal ‘untrue’

The report said Iran was actively trying to evade sanctions and support groups that sought to create chaos in the Middle East.

US officials have repeatedly accused Tehran of testing ballistic missiles and providing support to armed groups in Syria and Lebanon.

Mr Netanyahu’s comments come a day after Chuck Hagel, a former US defence secretary, described Mr Netanyahu’s claims about the nuclear deal as “false”.

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