Gantz: Now's the time to push Iran towards improved nuclear deal

Defense Minister Benny Gantz: "The relationship between Israel and Diaspora Jewry is stronger than any leader or government."

 Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks at the annual Jewish Media Summit hosted by the Government Press Office in Israel. (photo credit: ARIEL HERMONI/DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks at the annual Jewish Media Summit hosted by the Government Press Office in Israel.
(photo credit: ARIEL HERMONI/DEFENSE MINISTRY)

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that now is the time to push Iran towards an improved nuclear deal, but if efforts fail, this is the time to show and exercise force.

He spoke on Monday at the beginning of the annual Jewish Media Summit hosted by the Government Press Office, which hosts over 100 journalists from the Jewish media around the world.

Iran is a global challenge first 

"Iran is, first of all, a global and regional challenge, and only then a threat to Israel," he said. "Just as NATO acts in a coordinated manner when it comes to Ukraine, we must push our partners in the international community to deal with Iran in a coordinated manner before it brings itself to act with nuclear power."

"Just as NATO acts in a coordinated manner when it comes to Ukraine, we must push our partners in the international community to deal with Iran in a coordinated manner before it brings itself to act with nuclear power."

Benny Gantz

Time is of the essence, Gantz explained, and Iran is suffering from internal problems, economic difficulties, and severe backlash for its military support for Russia during the crisis in Ukraine

He explained that putting pressure on Iran now of all times to join a better nuclear agreement that would stop its nuclear progress. 

  Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks at the annual Jewish Media Summit hosted by the Government Press Office in Israel. (credit: ARIEL HERMONI/DEFENSE MINISTRY) Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks at the annual Jewish Media Summit hosted by the Government Press Office in Israel. (credit: ARIEL HERMONI/DEFENSE MINISTRY)

"We must focus on prevention now before it is too late," he said.

Israel's relationship with Diaspora Jewry

Gantz additionally said that "the relationship between Israel and Diaspora Jewry is stronger than any leader or government." However, he added that "our partners and friends from around the world should refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of the State of Israel."

On the subject of religious freedoms in Israel, and in a time when concern has arisen regarding non-Orthodox streams of Judaism, Gantz said, "It is important that every government in Israel and the leaders of the Jewish people around the world recognize and enable the integration of all streams of Judaism.

"This is an inseparable part of the resilience of the State of Israel, and of the sense of belonging of Jews around the world," he continued. "We are after elections. It is clear that I do not support the policies of the elected government, but at the same time, I respect the democratic process and its results. Our partners and friends around the world should also recognize this."