Israeli defense minister said Tel Aviv is “ready to attack Iran”, adding Iran represented “a global challenge”.

Benny Gantz’s comments came in an exclusive interview with the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth published on Thursday.

“Iran seeks to pose a multi-front challenge to Israel by building up its power in Lebanon and Gaza, deploying militias in Syria and Iraq, and establishing supporters in Yemen,” Gantz said.

He also held Palestinian elements responsible for last Wednesday’s rocket fire from Lebanon.

On Wednesday, the Israeli army announced that three missiles were launched from Lebanon towards northern Israel, and one of them landed in the Lebanese territory.

Israel responded by launching airstrikes on targets in southern Lebanon.

On Wednesday, Gantz told a conference organized by the Israeli Foreign Ministry with the ambassadors of member states of the UN Security Council that Iran needs only “about 10 weeks” to obtain the weapons-grade materials needed to make a nuclear weapon.

He also accused Saeed Ara Jani, head of the drone department of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, of being behind the attacks in the Persian Gulf.

Israel blamed Iran for the last week’s drone attack on the MV Mercer Street vessel, which killed a Briton and a Romanian. Iran, however, denied any responsibility for the attack.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.