Israeli Defence Minister Accuses Tehran of Building Up Military in Western Iran to Attack Israel

© AP PhotoIn this photo released Tuesday, July 28, 2020, by Sepahnews, missiles are fired in a Revolutionary Guard military exercise. Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard fired a missile from a helicopter targeting the mock-up aircraft carrier in the strategic Strait of Hormuz. That's according to footage aired on state television on Tuesday. Iranian commandos also fast-roped down from a helicopter onto the replica in the footage from the exercise called "Great Prophet 14." The drill appears aimed at threatening the U.S. amid tensions between Tehran and Washington.
In this photo released Tuesday, July 28, 2020, by Sepahnews, missiles are fired in a Revolutionary Guard military exercise. Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard fired a missile from a helicopter targeting the mock-up aircraft carrier in the strategic Strait of Hormuz. That's according to footage aired on state television on Tuesday. Iranian commandos also fast-roped down from a helicopter onto the replica in the footage from the exercise called Great Prophet 14. The drill appears aimed at threatening the U.S. amid tensions between Tehran and Washington. - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.12.2021
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The Jewish State and the Islamic Republic severed diplomatic relations in 1979. Israel, the Middle East’s only suspected nuclear weapons state, has long accused Iran of aspirations to build nukes, and threatened to destroy Tehran’s nuclear facilities. Iran has warned that any attack on its soil would spark a devastating retaliation.
Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz has accused Iran of engaging in a military buildup which will allow it to attack its neighbours, including Israel.
“Iran is building its military power in the west of the country to attack countries and forces in the Middle East in general and Israel in particular. We are prepared for any such attempt, and will do whatever it takes to protect our citizens and assets,” Gantz wrote in a multi-part Twitter thread on his recent discussions with US officials in Washington.
In addition to Iran’s missile power, the Israeli defence minister accused the Islamic Republic of training allies in the operation of armed drones, saying he’d told his US hosts about these efforts on Thursday.
In this photo released on Saturday, May 21, 2021, by Sepahnews, the website of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a new Gaza drone is displayed in an undisclosed location in Iran. (Sepahnews via AP) - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.09.2021
Israel Claims Iran ‘Exporting Aerial Terrorism’ by Training Militias to Use Advanced Drones
Following his meeting with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, Gantz said that the Islamic Republic posed a threat “not just…to our physical security,” but “to our way of life and our shared values.”
“In its aspirations to become a hegemon, Iran seeks to destroy all traces of freedom, human dignity and peace in the Middle East and beyond. The nuclear programme is a means to its hegemonic goals,” the minister suggested.
Gantz’s trip to Washington came in an atmosphere of continued regional tensions between Israel and its sworn adversary, Iran, and reports that America and the Jewish State were planning possible joint drills to practice the destruction of Iranian nuclear power infrastructure if the recently resumed Vienna talks on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal fall through.
Earlier this year, Israel set aside $1.5 billion in its defence budget to prepare for possible strikes on Iran, either independently or in coordination with its US allies.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned Thursday that any US-Israeli joint drills against Iran threaten to destabilize the situation in an “explosive region” and were “not needed.” The diplomat stressed that “right now it is important to show restraint and focus on facilitating the negotiations process.”
Tehran has blamed US stubbornness for last week’s breakdown of the Vienna nuclear talks, with another round of negotiations held Thursday and ending after about an hour. Washington unilaterally pulled out of the JCPOA in 2018 and reactivated crushing sanctions against Iran’s energy and banking sectors. Tehran wants these sanctions removed before it returns to its commitments under the agreement. The White House wants Iran to first reduce its uranium enrichment and stockpiling activities. The dispute about which side should be the first to make good will concessions has led to a stalemate in negotiations, souring hopes that President Joe Biden would quickly reject his predecessor’s Iran policy and return to the JCPOA immediately after stepping into office in January.
Iran nuclear talks enter day five - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.12.2021
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Israel has repeatedly threatened to attack Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, claiming the Islamic Republic has a secret military nuclear research arm trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has repeatedly denied these claims, pointing to its principled rejection of nukes and weapons of mass destruction of any kind, and to the country’s obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, as well as a stringent inspections regime by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Israel, by contrast, is not a member of the NPT, and does not allow the IAEA to inspect its nuclear facilities, despite Tel Aviv’s suspected status as a nuclear weapons state.
Iran maintains a powerful conventional ballistic and cruise missile capability consisting of tens of thousands of short-, medium- and long-range missiles. The United States and its European allies have repeatedly sought to reign in Tehran’s missile power, but the Islamic Republic has vocally rejected such efforts, citing its missiles as the main guarantor of strategic security.
Earlier this year, following revelations that the Israeli military set aside $1.5 billion to prepare for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, Iranian Supreme National Security Council chief Ali Shamkhani warned that Israel should instead set aside “tens of thousands of billions of dollars funding to repair the damage that is going to be caused by Iran’s shocking response” to any aggression.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price holds a press briefing at the State Department in Washington, U.S., August 16, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.12.2021
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