Gantz: Raisi election proves Iran becoming more extreme

Defense Minister Benny Gantz addresses regional issues during awards ceremony.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz
IDF Spokesperson

In remarks this evening during an awards ceremony recognizing the contribution of a variety of institutions, regional authorities, and civil organizations to Israeli security while the IDF occupied the Lebanon security zone, Defense Minister Benny Gantz related to a number of regional issues.

On Lebanon, he said: “In recent decades, since the end of the [Lebanon] campaign, the State of Israel has continued to move forward: in spheres of technology, high-tech, tourism and agriculture. Lebanon, in contrast, has submitted to terror and stayed behind. I see the distress of the people of that beautiful country, and cannot forget the thousands of Lebanese day laborers, that crossed the border every day to earn a living, and represented the hope of a better future. I ask our neighbors in Lebanon: is this what you were hoping for?

Lebanon and its people are not our enemies. Our enemy is Hezbollah, which is serving the interests of Iran, and, as a result, is harming the Lebanese people above all else.”

On the election of of Ebrahim Raisi as president of Iran, Gantz said: “This week, a new president was elected in Iran, in elections with the lowest voting rates in some 40 years, lacking public legitimacy, or any message of hope for his nation. ‘The hangman’ threatens Iranian citizens first and foremost."

"Putting him in that role proves that Iran is moving toward greater extremism, expansion, and continued pursuit of weapons of mass destruction that may threaten the world, regional stability, and the State of Israel as well. Any state that chooses to become part of the Iranian proliferation is putting itself at risk, harming its citizens, and acting counter to its own national interest.

"Israel will stand firm and will not pass over a looming existential threat in silence. We are preparing and will continue preparing plans to avert it.

"We will always share information and knowledge, and keep coordinated with our friends, first and foremost the U.S. At the same time, we will always maintain our right, capacity, and duty to protect ourselves independently. That’s the way it’s been, and that’s the way it will continue to be.”