Gantz: Iran attacks with drones from Hormuz, arms smuggling in Venezuela

Iran launched maritime attacks with UAVs from bases in Chabahar and Qeshm Island in the south of the country, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the IPS Herzliya Conference of the Institute for Policy and Strategy, Gantz said that the threat posed by the Islamic Republic is not only facing Israel but the entire world.

“One of the key tools is unmanned aerial vehicles and precision weapons, which can hit strategic targets over thousands of kilometers and therefore this capability is already putting Sunni countries, international troops in the East at risk. Middle and also to countries in Europe and Africa, “said the Defense Minister. said.

Iranian drones can reach a range of 1,700 kilometers and their strikes have targeted assets belonging to the United States, Saudi Arabia, Israel, as well as Sunni organizations in Syria and Iraq.

“The Iranian method of becoming a regional power is to take over countries like Yemen, which ranks last in the ‘fragile’ index, Syria, which ranks third before last, Iraq and Lebanon. The method is clear: first we take Damascus and then Berlin. “

Qeshm Island in the Strait of Hormuz, by Iran, satellite view. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

While Iran has been conducting hostile activities throughout the Middle East, Iran is also operating in other areas, such as transferring oil and weapons to Venezuela, operating the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Force in South America, and also dealing with to increase its presence in Afghanistan.

“Iranian terrorism is being promoted with the approval of its spiritual leader Ali Khamenei and under the regime’s top leadership,” Gantz said, adding that Tehran is also attempting to smuggle weapons into Venezuela and increase the presence of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. in South America. .

Iran has been sending IRGC forces to South America for several years and is expected to sign a cooperation agreement with Caracas as ties between the two countries continue to grow.

The Defense Minister stressed that in the face of the threat posed by Iran, the international community must act “and use Plan B” in case the diplomatic option fails.

In saying that Israel will continue to work in “full cooperation” with the American and international community, there must be a real option for military action.

“There is no doubt that a diplomatic solution is preferable, but alongside it, the use of force must also be on the table, which is the continuation of diplomacy by other means. Sometimes the use and display of force can avoid the need for even stronger military action. “

Tehran also tried to send explosives to Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank from Syria using unmanned aerial vehicles.

The UAV smuggling attempt occurred in February 2018 and although the IDF had originally said that the armed drone was on its way to carry out a sabotage attack, “its destination was, to our knowledge, terrorists in the West Bank.”

“Iran is not only using UAVs to attack, but also to transfer weapons to its proxies.”

The advanced Iranian drone believed to be a copy of an American stealth drone that was shot down in Iran in 2011, took off from the T-4 airbase deep in the Syrian province of Homs, and crossed into Israeli territory through airspace. Jordanian.

The drone was detected by Israel and was intercepted near the Israeli city of Beit She’an by an Apache attack helicopter.

In September, Gantz said the Islamic Republic is training militias from Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Syria to operate and manufacture Iranian UAVs at the Kashan base, north of the city of Isfahan.

“Iran has created ’emissary terrorism’ under the auspices of organized terrorist armies that help it achieve its economic, political and military goals. Iran is trying to transfer its knowledge that will enable it to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Also in the Gaza Strip , to produce advanced UAVs, ”he said at the time.

According to Gantz, terrorist operatives from those countries are being trained to fly Iranian UAVs at the base “which is the cornerstone of Iranian air terrorism in the region.”

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