Israel’s minister of military affairs has admitted to Iran’s drone power in his latest confession, saying the Islamic Republic is in possession of “accurate” and “destructive” drones that can cross thousands of kilometers.
“One of the most significant tools that Iran has developed is its unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)," Benny Gantz said, claiming that Iran is using an airbase in one of its central provinces to train "operatives from Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon in flying Iranian-made UAVs."
“We are talking about highly accurate and destructive drones. These drones, like ballistic missiles or jet fighters, can travel thousands of kilometers. Iranians make these drones and deliver them to their representatives, both in the Aerospace Force of the [Islamic Revolution] Guards Corps and the Quds Force,” the Israeli minister said while speaking at a conference at Reichman University in Herzliya on Sunday.
Gantz further alleged that Iran was trying to "transfer know-how that would allow the manufacturing of UAVs in the Gaza Strip," while his office provided what it claimed to be satellite images showing UAVs on the runways at an Iranian airbase.
The comments come as tensions run high between Israel and Iran in the aftermath of an alleged attack against the Israeli-managed Mercer Street tanker off the coast of Oman in July, after which Israel, the US and Britain were quick to blame Iran and threatened the country with a “response.”
The US military claimed the alleged attack was from a drone produced in Iran. Tehran, however, rejected the accusation as “baseless” and “childish.”
Pointing to Iran’s recent sales of fuel to Lebanon with the aim of helping the Lebanese during their country’s financial and political crisis, the Israeli minister claimed that Iran provides Hezbollah with fuel at the expense of Lebanon and its people.
“This is also the case in Gaza, where Iran provides knowledge and arms for building advanced rockets,” he said.
Gantz also called on the signatories of the Iran nuclear deal to impose sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
“Iran does not respect the agreements it has signed, and there’s no reason to believe it will respect any agreements it will sign in the future. The time has come for action,” he said, referring to Iran nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was violated and abandoned by the United States in 2018 under heavy Israeli lobbying, despite Iran’s full compliance with the deal.
In a similar anti-Iran allegation last week, Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said “Iran’s march towards a nuclear weapon is not only an Israeli problem; it’s a problem for the entire world.”
“The world needs to stop Iran from getting a nuclear capability, no matter the price. If the world doesn’t do it, Israel reserves the right to act,” Lapid said, threatening Iran with war.
In response, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh underlined the Islamic Republic’s right to respond against any act of aggression by the Israeli regime and pointed out that Iran, unlike Israel, is a member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
“Outlaw Israeli regime—sitting on illicit nukes & refusing to join NPT—again threatens NPT member Iran; a nation w world's most inspected nuclear program,” Khatibzadeh wrote in a tweet.