Minister Binyamin Netanyahu acted Thursday, April 26, to correct the damaging impression of divided and uncertain perceptions of the Iranian nuclear threat left by statements delivered in the last two days by himself and Defense Minster Ehud Barak.
Israel’s chief of staff Gen. Benny Gantz rallied to the task with an unambiguous comment that “other countries have readied their armed forces for a potential strike against Iran’s nuclear sites to keep Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The military force is ready. Not only our forces but other forces as well,” he said without elaborating.
“We all hope it will not be necessary to use this force, but we are absolutely sure of its existence.”
DEBKAfile reports from Washington that Gen. Gantz’s words were seen in US official circles as the strongest affirmation yet from Jerusalem that Israel has partners for a direct attack on Iran’s nuclear sites.
It was also an attempt by the chief of staff to erase the question mark he placed in a previous comment over Iran’s resolve to attain a nuclear weapon.
Wednesday, April 25, DEBKAfile reported widespread criticism on the Israeli street and in military circles of the mixed and conflicting messages coming from top officials with regard to the Iranian peril. Netanyahu also responded to the criticism in person by declaring in a TV interview, “Iran hasn’t stopped its program …the centrifuges are spinning as we speak.”