Thursday’s comments came as tensions continue to mount in the region following a deadly drone strike last week on an Israeli-run tanker off the coast of Oman.
Israel said it had provided its allies with “hard evidence” that Iran was behind the attack on the tanker Mercer Street, without providing details. The US and UK have also blamed Iran for the attack that killed two people – British and Romanian crew members – and vowed to respond. Tehran has dismissed the charges, saying it will “react decisively” if other countries decide to attack its interests.
Asked Thursday in an interview broadcast on a local media website about whether Israel is ready to strike on Iran, Gantz replied, “Yes.
Gantz also told Ynet that Israel was prepared to engage in a “multi-front” conflict that could include Iran.
“Iran is a global and regional problem and an Israeli challenge,” Gantz said.
“We must continue to develop our capacities to face multiple fronts, because it is the future”, he added.
There was no immediate reaction from Iran.
On Wednesday, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander-in-chief said countries threatening Iran – especially Israel – must develop a realistic understanding of its defensive and offensive capabilities.
“In our defensive policies and strategies, there is no act, no enemy at any time and with no magnitude, which will be tolerable and will not prompt us to show a strict and decisive response,” Hossein Salami said during a visit to forces located along the Gulf and Strait of Hormuz.
“We are ready for any scenario,” he said, adding that his message was a message of action and not diplomacy.
Gantz’s comments, on the day Ebrahim Raisi was to be sworn in as Iran’s new president, was Israel’s most recent case of asserting its military will to strike Iran.
In January, Israeli Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi said he had asked his forces to step up preparations for possible offensive action against Iran in the coming year.
Israel remained staunchly opposed to attempts by the United States and other Western powers to revive a nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers in 2015, which would see Tehran curtail its nuclear ambitions in return for sanctions relief.
US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew his country from the historic agreement in 2018.