Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned Wednesday morning that Iran’s close cooperation with Russia could have serious implications for the Middle East.
Speaking with reporters at a press conference, Gantz predicted that Iran will be emboldened by its strengthening relationship with Moscow.
"I expect Iran's audacity will get a boost as a result of its ties with Russia," Gantz said, referring to the Kremlin's increased cooperation with Tehran following the imposition of Western sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine.
"This will have repercussions on the whole region."
Gantz said Israel "has the ability to operate inside of Iran," vowing to strengthen Israel's capabilities.
"We must continue to [have this ability] and to strengthen it."
He discounted Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi's claim that Likud chief Benjamin Netanyahu will prepare concrete plans for attacking Iran during the next government.
"I think that in this regard, Netanyahu will give the issue due consideration."
Turning to Israeli politics and the formation of a new government, Gantz denied reports that President Isaac Herzog urged him to agree to sit with Netanyahu in a national unity government.
"President Herzog never suggested I join a government with Netanyahu. I had a meeting with him, but we didn't discuss that, so I don't know where this idea came from."