Israel’s Defense Minister warned diplomats from the United Nations Security Council member states that Iran is 10 weeks away from having enough weapons-grade materials to create a nuclear weapon.
“Iran has violated all of the guidelines set in the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] and is only around 10 weeks away from acquiring weapons-grade materials necessary for a nuclear weapon,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Wednesday, according to The Jerusalem Post.
“Therefore, it is time to act. The world must apply economic sanctions and take operative action against the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps.”
The talks have been on hold since June.
“Iran is a global and regional problem and an Israeli challenge,” Gantz said, according to Newsweek.
Gantz made his remarks while pushing for the UNSC to impose sanctions on Iran for its maritime attacks in recent weeks.
For months, Israel and Iran have been engaged in a quiet war on each other’s shipping. An Iranian oil tanker would be damaged, and Israel would get the blame. A merchant ship linked to Israel would be attacked, and Iran would get the blame. Denials would follow accusations with ritual precision.
But Iran took a deadly step to up the ante. Several attacks linked to Iran have involved the use of drones.
On Friday, the oil tanker Mercer Street — operated by a firm owned by an Israeli businessman — was hit while sailing in the Indian Ocean, according to The Times of Israel.
The attack became the first to result in fatalities, with two crew members killed — one British and one Romanian. The Romanian crewmate was reportedly the ship’s captain.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned the attack and said Iran was to blame, according to CBS News.
Iran has rejected the allegations.
The Jerusalem Post reported the United States and Great Britain are among five of the 15 UNSC members who have veto power, but any UNSC action would need support from Russia and China.
“The Security Council must take all necessary measures to hold the Iranian regime fully accountable for its repeated and unrestrained gross violations of international law,” U.S. and U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan of Israel wrote in a letter to the council Tuesday.
Gantz told Ynet journalist Attila Somfalvi that Israel is ready to attack Iran, according to Newsweek.
“We are at a point where we need to take military action against Iran. The world needs to take action against Iran now,” he said.
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