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Israeli defense minister: Plans to attack Iran nuclear sites updated

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Israel is updating it’s plans to potentially strike nuclear facilities in Iran. Pictured, an Israeli prepares for takeoff. Photo courtesy of Israel Defense Force
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Israel is updating it’s plans to potentially strike nuclear facilities in Iran. Pictured, an Israeli prepares for takeoff. Photo courtesy of Israel Defense Force

March 5 (UPI) -- Israel is preparing to act independently against Iran and is updating plans for military strikes on Iran's nuclear sites, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said.

He noted that numerous targets within Iran's nuclear production program have been identified, and that the Israel Defense Force is capable of inflicting assaults to damage the program's development.

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"If the world stops them before, it's very much good, but if not, we must stand independently and we must defend ourselves by ourselves," Gantz said in a television interview on Thursday with Fox News.

Israel has conducted airstrikes against the nuclear programs of Iraq, in 1981, and Syria, in 2007, and operates under a doctrine insisting that no enemy neighbor obtain nuclear weapons.

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In the interview, Gantz briefly displayed a map which he said indicated the position of rockets, near civilian areas along the Israeli border, in possession of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, an Iranian ally.

"This is a target map. Each one of them has been checked legally, operationally, intelligence-wise and we are ready to fight," he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also said that Israel will work independently, if necessary, to prevent nuclear weapons in Iran's hands in exchange for Iran's release from economic sanctions.

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"I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, and so far, we've been successful," Netanyahu said on Thursday.

Gantz' interview comes as the United States seeks to re-enter the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a treaty by which Iran's progress in nuclear weapons is slowed.

The United States, under the direction of former president Donald Trump, pulled out of the treaty in 2018, and on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif repeated that the deal will not be renegotiated.

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