Benny Gantz
Benny GantzIDF Spokesperson's Unit

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Tuesday in a special interview with the BBC in Persian that "the Iranian nuclear project is a threat to world peace and the peace of the region, and also to the security of the State of Israel."

Gantz added, "There is a paradox between the Iranian people, a people with a rich and warm culture, and the tyrannical regime that violates the human rights of Iranian citizens. Billions of dollars go every year to nuclear weapons, terrorism and armaments throughout the Middle East, instead of the Iranian people in need. There is a shortage of water, food, electricity and Iran is still choosing to continue developing a military nuclear program that threatens world peace."

"The Iranians are very close to nuclear weapons in the issue of enrichment, but not so close on other issues. We know very well about their tricks, and their attempts to deceive the countries of the world. We are also revealing this information. The Iranian nuclear project threatens the stability of the world, the region and is a challenge to Israel's security," the Defense Minister continued.

Regarding Israel's activities, Gantz said, "Israel will know how to ensure its security. We will maintain our freedom of action and our ability to act, but the Iranian issue is an issue that the world needs to deal with realistically - not by hoping for good but in actual actions. We all hope that Iran will not move forward with the nuclear project, but the actions on the ground indicate the opposite."

"We have capabilities and means that I will not be able to elaborate on, and we are highly prepared to ensure that Iran does not have nuclear weapons. I am sure that the Iranian regime is also aware of some of Israel's capabilities," he added.

Gantz directly turned to the Iranian people at the end of the interview, saying, "I would be happy if those who watched us imagined that all the efforts and resources I described in the interview related to the nuclear program would be transferred to the benefit of Iranian citizens. To investments, infrastructure, education and medical services. Israel and the Iranian people have had excellent relations in the past, and we have great appreciation for the Iranian people and its heritage, but we see that on the ground that the Iranian regime has a negative impact on both the nuclear issue and the support for terrorism in the Middle East. We will not be able to sit and rest and close our eyes when an existential danger hovers over our heads, so we are working and will continue to act to prevent it and harm the development of nuclear weapons and terrorism that is spreading in the region by Iran."