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October 26, 2017 9:08 am

Senior Israeli Minister: Military Option Remains on the Table to Prevent a Nuclear Iran

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Yisrael Katz. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The option of striking Iran to prevent it from getting nuclear weapons remains on the table for Israel, a senior member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government said on Thursday during a visit to Tokyo.

“If international efforts led these days by US President Trump don’t help stop Iran [from] attaining nuclear capabilities, Israel will act militarily by itself,” Intelligence and Transportation Minister Israel Katz was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Referring to the July 2015 nuclear deal agreed to by Iran and six world powers, which Trump decertified earlier this month, Katz noted, “There are changes that can be made to ensure that they [the Iranians] will never have the ability to have a nuclear weapon.”

The 62-year-old Katz — a longtime member of Israel’s ruling Likud Party who is viewed by some as a potential future successor to Netanyahu — also highlighted Jerusalem’s concerns over Tehran’s ongoing effort to establish a permanent military presence in war-torn Syria.

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“We will not allow Iran to transform Syria into [a] forward base [with] sea harbors, air bases and Shia militias,” he said.

Katz — who serves in Israel’s 10-member security cabinet — also pointed out the danger posed by Iran’s missile program. “We will act together with the United States and other countries in the world until they [the Iranians] stop the ballistic missiles that threaten Israel,” he stated.

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