Israeli Military Chief Benny Gantz: “Very Rational” Iran NOT Pursuing Nuclear Weapons
The head of Israel’s military admitted Wednesday that Iran is not trying to develop nuclear weapons.
In an interview with the leading Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), said that although Iran is approaching the point of deciding on whether or not to pursue a nuclear bomb, the country’s rulers have not yet taken that decision.
“It still hasn’t decided yet whether to go the extra mile,” Gantz asserted.
The general opined that Iran would be making “a huge mistake” if it decides to attempt to build a nuclear bomb, but that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other leaders are “very rational people” and that sanctions against the authoritarian Islamist regime were “starting to bear fruit.”
Gen. Gantz added that he does not believe Iran will decide to develop nukes.
“I do not think [they] will want to go the extra mile,” he said.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak also said that Iran had “not yet decided to manufacture atomic weapons,” an opinion shared by US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Meir Dagan, Israel’s outgoing spy chief, also said last January that Iran was not working on a nuclear bomb.
Israeli leaders have posited that an Iran possessing nuclear weapons would threaten the existence of the Jewish state. They have repeatedly said that a preemptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities is not off the table, and many observers say a recent wave of assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists bears Israeli fingerprints.
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