Foreign Minister Israel Katz: US must upgrade military threat on Iran

Prior to speech at The Jerusalem Post conference, FM Katz only called for sanctions.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz speaks at The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz called on the US to renew its prior threats to use military force to eliminate the Iranian nuclear program if the regime will not take action to end its nuclear activity by itself.
Prior to the speech, Katz had only called publicly for sanctions and not a military threat against the Islamic Republic.
“Now is the time for the world, led by the United States, to have an effective military threat against the Iranian regime, if it will continue its nuclear program,” Katz said at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference on Thursday.
Katz praised Israeli security forces for acting to defend the country by striking against Iranian targets in Syria and Syrian targets that threatened them.
“We will strike at whomever threatens us,” he said. “That is what we have always done, and what we will continue to do in the future.”
Katz said that Iran is the main threat to the region through its nuclear program, its ballistic missiles and its support for terror organizations such as Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He said the US sanctions against Tehran are important and effective, and that America’s “maximum pressure” campaign must be continued.
“We see the demonstrations in Iraq, Lebanon and also in Iran, and it is clear that the pressure is working,” Katz told the room full of ambassadors and diplomats at Jerusalem’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel. “The public in the Arab states and in Iran itself are rising against Iran’s brutal oppression.”
Katz welcomed the Trump administration’s announcement on the legality of communities in Judea and Samaria, which he said was the right response to efforts to boycott Israel and the European Court decision to label products from the region.
The foreign minister also called for advancing Israel’s relations with Arab Gulf States, saying he was working on “non-belligerency agreements” with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“We have no conflict with the Gulf States, and we have common interests in the field of security against the Iranian threat as well as in developing many joint, civilian initiatives,” he said. “Israel has a lot of capabilities in many areas, including hi-tech, innovation, agriculture and water technology, which can help the Gulf States, and the Gulf States have many capabilities that can help Israel as well.”
Katz has also initiated the “Tracks for Regional Peace” initiative, which would connect the Gulf countries by rail through Jordan and to Israel and the Mediterranean port in Haifa.
He presented these initiatives to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other senior officials in the administration. Joint teams were set up to advance both of these initiatives.
“Israel is ready to promote cooperation in the region,” he said. “This is the best way to ensure Israel’s security.”