Iran Poses Threat to Entire Region: Army Chief

By Haaretz

Published December 30, 2011.

Israel’s Army Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said on Friday that a nuclear Iran is a regional threat no less than it is a threat to Israel, and that “through appropriate International and Israeli preparations, which I will not specify here, this challenge can be met.”

Speaking before high school students in Beer Tuvia near Ashkelon, Gantz was asked by a student about Iran’s nuclear program. “Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons and this topic should concern us,” he said.

Gantz spoke about the security developments in the region, and said that the current events in neighboring countries may lead to the rise of radical and Islamist organizations. “I would be happy if this phenomenon leads to democratic neighboring countries, but in case of negative developments there is room for concern,” he said. According to Gantz, poverty and economic hardship may strengthen radical and Islamists elements, “and that possibility seems more likely.”

Gantz also referred to segregation of women in the IDF, and said “there is no place for it.” Women “can take pride in their service and in their singing,” he said.

Earlier on Friday, Iran proclaimed that it will start testing long range missiles in the Persian Gulf amid a verbal row with the United States over blocking the Strait of Hormuz, a vital oil shipping route.

For more, go to Haaretz.com



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