Minister Katz:
'There's no more Lebanon, there's Iran'

Israel will not permit Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, stresses Transportation and Intelligence Minister in interview with Arutz Sheva.

Eliran Aharon,

Yisrael Katz
Yisrael Katz
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) on Thursday discussed, in an interview with Arutz Sheva, the latest upheavals in the Middle East, in light of the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri and Iran's threatening takeover of large areas surrounding the State of Israel.

Regarding the nuclear deal with Iran, Minister Katz said that U.S. President Donald Trump is leading the efforts to change the deal.

"I think that with significant international pressure, Iran can be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons,” he said, adding, "There is no dispute whatsoever in the State of Israel, at all levels and in the entire security establishment, over the fact that Israel will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, so I hope that the effort will bear fruit but if Iran comes close to acquiring nuclear weapons, Israel itself will have to ensure that this does not happen."

As for the goings on in Lebanon, Minister Katz said, "What happened with Al-Hariri revealed the true face of Hezbollah and what we are claiming and the whole world now sees it: Al-Hariri was merely a fig leaf; in fact Lebanon is Hezbollah and Hezbollah is Iran and we see this as a red line.”

“Right now the world, in addition to pressuring Iran over the nuclear weapons,” he continued, “must also pressure Iran over its support for terrorism and impose heavy sanctions on Hezbollah as well as sanctions on Iran, if it does not stop funding and arming Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations.”

Asked whether he would support Israeli countermeasures such as air strikes, Katz replied, "We do not talk about such things, but Israel has military capabilities. At the same time there is an openness in the world to understand that after what happened with Al-Hariri there is no Lebanon, there is Hezbollah, and therefore the sanctions on Lebanon must be severe in order to disarm Hezbollah. I believe it is possible to remove this threat and achieve the goal."

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