Gantz: IDF will follow Iran attack orders if given

Chief of staff dismisses reports that he is opposed to a strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

July 31, 2012 18:00
1 minute read.
IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz [file]

IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz 390 (R). (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)


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The IDF will carry out orders to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities if it receives them from the government, Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said Tuesday, dismissing reports that he is opposed to such a strike.

“We tell the political echelon what we think and we will do what we are told,” Gantz said during a visit to the Tel Hashomer Military Induction Center. “None of the reports came from me.”

Gantz was referring to a report Tuesday morning in Yediot Aharonot citing US officials as claiming that the top defense leadership in Israel including Gantz, Mossad chief Tamir Pardo and Israel Air Force commander Maj.- Gen. Amir Eshel are opposed to an attack against Iran.

“I am not in favor of discussing disagreements if there are such, but I am in favor of telling the government what I think,” he said.

Gantz’s position on Iran has long been to hold off on military action and to give as much time possible for diplomacy and sanctions to try and stop Iran’s nuclear program.

In April, Gantz said that he believed Iran would ultimately refrain from developing a nuclear weapon. In private meetings he has also predicted that international pressure could potentially delay a possible confrontation with Iran until 2013.

“Iran is continuing to provoke and to work to obtain a nuclear military capability,” Gantz said. “This is a major problem for the entire world and region and we should not ignore it since this is the only country in the world that is developing a nuclear weapon and calling for the destruction of another country. All options are on the table and this is not a slogan but a fact.”

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