Benny Gantz says Israel ready to strike Iran as tensions run high: 'Don't test us'

Israel's defense minister spoke of the situation during an interview broadcast Thursday

Israel Defense Minister Benny Gantz has warned Iran his country’s military is poised to take action should tensions continue to escalate between the two nations. 

Gantz spoke of the situation during an interview broadcast Thursday on local media website Ynet, during which he reaffirmed recent comments Israel made that highlight the threat Iran could pose to the nation in the near future. 

"Iran is seeking to present Israel with a multi-faceted challenge," Gantz said, urging the international community to work with Israel to curb Iran’s actions. "It's obvious we are capable of doing a lot more, and we hope we won't be dragged into it."

Benny Gantz, head of Blue and White party speaks at an  election campaign event in Ramat Gan, Israel, on July 24, 2019.  (Photo by Gili Yaari/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Benny Gantz, head of Blue and White party speaks at an  election campaign event in Ramat Gan, Israel, on July 24, 2019.  (Photo by Gili Yaari/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

When asked whether Israel is prepared to strike Iran, Gantz said, "Yes," according to Al Jazeera

"Iran is a global and regional problem and an Israeli challenge," Gantz explained. "We state this clearly: Any foolish act against Iran will be met with a decisive response. Don’t test us."

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Israel claimed Sunday it had provided "hard evidence" to allies that Iran was behind the drone strike on an Israeli-managed tanker, Mercer Street. 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged the need for a "collective response" to Iran’s action against the Mercer Street, the Times of Israel reported

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"We are in very close contact, in coordination, with the United Kingdom, Israel, Romania and other countries. And there will be a collective response," Blinken told reporters at a press appearance at the State Department.

Israel again rang the alarm over Iran on Wednesday, when Gantz reportedly warned U.N. Security Council diplomats that Iran is "only 10 weeks away from acquiring weapons-grade materials necessary for a nuclear weapon," according to the Jerusalem Post.

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"Therefore, it is time to act," he added. "The world must apply economic sanctions and take operative action against the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps."