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Israel to increase covert and overt action against Iran, says Gantz

Israeli Minister of Defense Benjamin Benny Gantz on December 9, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. [Yasin Öztürk - Anadolu Agency]
Israeli Minister of Defense Benjamin Benny Gantz on December 9, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. [Yasin Öztürk - Anadolu Agency]

Israel's Defence Minister said on Monday that the occupation state is going to increase both covert and overt action against Iran, local media have reported. Benny Gantz made the comment to the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee and urged world powers to take a harder negotiating stance against Tehran.

"The internal situation in Iran leaves lots of opportunities for the world," said the former army chief of staff. "It is not a real power. Its citizens are suffering… the heads of Iran know their [weak] situation."

According to the Times of Israel, Gantz's remarks came days after European and US negotiators expressed their frustration after a mostly "fruitless round" of talks in Vienna aimed at salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). America pulled out of the deal unilaterally in 2018.

Gantz told the committee that investment in Iran had been slashed in half in the last decade. Moreover, the government in Tehran is facing other unspecified "internal and external challenges."

In a statement issued by his office, the minister said: "Iran is coming into negotiations without real bargaining chips. It is possible and necessary to put an end to Iran's 'foot-dragging' strategy."

He added that, for the past year and a half, Israel has been "engaged in force buildup, procuring new means that will ensure Israel's security superiority in the region in the face of all threats."

READ: Israel admits role in assassination of Qassem Soleimani 

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