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Gantz: Israel super-ready to attack Iran if needed

IDF Chief of Staff slams chatter on Iranian nuclear threat by former defense establishment officials. 

Israeli preparedness to attack Iran is a major deterrent, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday.

Gantz listed reasons Tehran may give up on nuclear weapons: “The vectors of international diplomatic isolation, economic pressure and sanctions, disturbances to the [nuclear] project that I won’t get into and a credible military threat .

“In order to be a credible military threat, we must be super-ready, and as far as I’m concerned, we’re super-read,” the Chief of Staff added.

Gantz explained that Iran has yet to determine whether to use its nuclear capabilities for weapons, and only Teheran can make that final decision. The IDF is prepared for either scenario.

“There is a lot of chatter and public debate on this matter,” he pointed out. “The Iranian issue – capabilities or lack thereof, how things are developing and where its going – is very dynamic, and very few people know what is possible or impossible.”

Gantz said many people claim to know what is happening, but they do not, and the public debate and professional debate are far from each other.

“Some people used to know, and they don’t today,” he stated, in reference to former defense establishment officials like former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and Former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yuval Diskin, who have said an attack on Iran would not be effective.

Gantz said the IDF is concerned about arms smuggling between Hezbollah and Syria, saying there is more movement than ever before, and Iran and Hezbollah are very involved in Syria.

Instability in the Golan Heighs has increased as a result of the situation in Syria, and the amount of security issues near the border has increased, although there has not yet been any terrorist activity.

The IDF Chief of Staff called Syria a “lose-lose situation,” because if Syrian President Bashar Assad falls, radical elements will take over. If he remains in power, he will be weak, and there will be instability.

“Good things won’t happen in Syria,” Gantz said, explaining that there is likely to be an increase in arms smuggling in either case.

Gantz also called for the IDF to compile a multi-year plan with an increased budget, saying that the military is currently “floating like a raft, not sailing like a boat.”

“The framework of the budget does not allow a reasonable continuation of a multi-year plan in the complex strategic reality and negative trends,” he stated. “We must ensure our ability to attack from the air and ground at the same time. I must ensure that the active units are not hollow and can fulfill any mission.”

Gantz also said he has total faith in the Air Force and intelligence, but that he must make sure to preserve their power.

“We have to know where to hammer the nail,” he quipped.

 

 LAHAV HARKOV

June 05 2012
Related link – http://tinyurl.com/6npsgft
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