TEL AVIV – The IDF has increased its alert status amid fears that Iran could attack Israel next following the Gulf oil tanker incident, Channel 12 reported Sunday.
The defense establishment has completed a series of changes on various fronts to prevent an Iranian attack from either Gaza, Lebanon or Syria, the report said.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with US National Security Adviser John Bolton at the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu thanked Bolton for being a “great friend” and standing with Israel.
“Your visit is an opportunity to strengthen that alliance even further, as well as to discuss how best to address the enormous challenges we face together in the Middle East, at this sensitive time,” Netanyahu said.
Addressing Iran, the prime minister said that the opposite of what was promised in the run-up to the signing of the Obama-led 2015 nuclear deal is now unfolding.
“The supporters of the Iran deal argued that the infusion of massive cash into Iran’s economy would moderate Iran. They argued that Iran would become inward-focused, would start nation-building. And in fact, the very opposite is happening,” he said.
“Iran used those hundreds of billions of dollars to fund empire building, not nation building,” he added, “that is the stamping of one state after the other, and the devouring of one state after another in the Middle East.”
“Likewise, our Arab neighbors say exactly the same thing. They saw Iran’s aggression and Iran’s increased support from terror groups that threaten them, from the Shiite militias in Iraq to the Houthis in Yemen,” he said.
“So I was pleased to hear President [Donald] Trump make clear yesterday that pressure will continue, and that pressure will increase,” Netanyahu said.
Bolton, meanwhile, warned Iran not to mistake Trump’s decision not to take military action over last week’s downing of a U.S. drone as a sign of weakness.
“Neither Iran nor any other hostile actor should mistake U.S. prudence and discretion for weakness. No one has granted them a hunting license in the Middle East,” he said.
“As we meet, threats to international peace and security in the Middle East and around the world are on the rise,” Bolton said.
“Iran’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons; its threats to exceed the limits set in the failed nuclear deal in the coming days; its continuing buildup of menacing Quds Force capabilities in Syria and Iraq; its supply of sophisticated drones, missiles and other advanced weapons to hostile surrogate forces in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Afghanistan; and continued threat and acts of aggression against Israel, our allies in the Arabian Gulf and against U.S. personal and assets across the Middle East, are not signs of a nation seeking peace.”
Bolton added that the new economic sanctions to be revealed later on Monday “are biting.”