Israel needs to prepare a credible and viable military option to eliminate Iran’s nuclear facilities, former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi said on Thursday.

“In comparison to 10 years ago, the possibility of a conflict is not something that we just need to talk about.

We also need to prepare for it,” Ashkenazi said at a conference in Tel Aviv.

Calling for a strategy that combines “everything that can be done under the radar” – likely a reference to covert action – with “painful and crippling sanctions,” Ashkenazi also said that Israel needed to create a military option and declare its readiness to use it.

Ashkenazi served as IDF chief of staff from 2007 until 2011 and likely played a key role in preparing the military for a possible attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities. He commanded over the IDF in 2007, when foreign reports ascribed the strike against Syria’s nuclear reactor to Israel.

While the sanctions were having an effect on Iran, Ashkenazi warned that time was running out since the Iranian’s nuclear program was moving forward at a rapid pace.

“Our mission now needs to be to slow down the clock and to speed up the clock of sanctions and hope that it works,” he said.

Ashkenazi is scheduled to be one of the speakers at The Jerusalem Post Conference on April 29 in New York.

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