Israel is ready to strike Iran after attack on Mercer Street ship, defence minister says

Israel is ready to strike Iran after attack on Mercer Street ship, defence minister says
AP Photo/Jon Gambrell
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Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz stated that the country’s military is ready to attack Iran, and there must be a global response to the threat Iran poses, calling it “a global and regional problem.”

Gantz’s comments on Thursday came amid tensions following a deadly drone strike on an Israeli-operated tanker off the coast of Oman.

Israel, along with the United States and the United Kingdom, pointed blame towards Tehran for the attack on the Mercer Street vessel last week that killed two people — the Romanian captain and a British crew member.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on August 1 that, “We believe this attack was a deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran.”

“Iran must immediately cease actions that risk international peace and security,” a British government statement announcing the summons said, adding that “vessels must be allowed to navigate freely in accordance with international law.”

Tehran rejected the accusations, saying that the country would “respond decisively” if other countries decide to attack its interests.

In a statement to Ynet, Gantz said that "Israel is ready to attack Iran, yes,"

"We are at a point where we need to take military action against Iran. The world needs to take action against Iran now," he added, in comments tweeted by Ynet journalist Attila Somfalvi.

Speaking to Ynet, Gantz stated that "Iran seeks to pose a multi-front challenge to Israel, as such is building up its forces in Lebanon and Gaza, deploying militias in Syria and Iraq and maintaining its supporters in Yemen. Iran is a global and regional problem and an Israeli challenge.”

"We need to continue to develop our abilities to cope with multiple fronts, for this is the future," he said.

"We know that when the Islamic Jihad faction in Gaza launches attacks against Israel, they do so with the support and urging of the Islamic Republic," the defence minister said.

Gantz’s comments come on the same day Ebrahim Raisi was sworn in as the new president of Iran. 

Iran's deputy ambassador to the U.N., Zahra Ershadi, rejected claims that Tehran was behind the deadly attack.

In a letter to the UN Security Council, she stated that Israel "has a long dark record in attacking commercial navigation and civilian ships," the Associated Press reported.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett accused Tehran of a “cowardly” denial of responsibility, while his foreign minister suggested the attack deserves repercussions.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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