Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid issued a joint statement on Wednesday implicating an Iranian commander in the deadly suicide drone attack on an Israeli-linked ship in the Gulf of Oman and called on world leaders to respond to Iranian aggression.
"Such action requires unity within the international community and action may be taken through the UN Security Council or any other international framework that will hold Iran accountable for its actions," the statement said.
Gantz and Lapid hosted ambassadors from United Nations Security Council member countries on Wednesday as part of a national effort to urge countries to condemn and put a stop to Iranian terror in the region.
Nevertheless, Israel maintains the right to "act independently in the face of any attack or threat to its citizens and sovereignty," the statement said.
Two crewmen – a British and a Romanian citizen – were killed in the attack last week on the Mercer .
Gantz called Iran “a global challenge, a regional challenge and also a challenge to the State of Israel.”
“For the first time ever, I will also expose the man who is directly responsible for the launch of suicide UAVs: his name is Saeed Ara Jani and he is the head of the IRGC’s UAV Command,” Gantz said. “The UAV command conducted the attack on Mercer Street (ship). Saeed Ara Jani plans and provides the training and equipment to conduct terror attacks in the region.”
The defense minister also stressed that Israel has shared intelligence it had gathered on the recent attack and will continue to provide concrete evidence.
“During the past week, Israel has acted in all the possible diplomatic and security channels in order to call on the international community to set clear boundaries for Iran and to cease its aggressive conduct,” the statement said.
“Iran is responsible for dozens of terror attacks across the Middle East, while controlling its proxies in Yemen, Iraq and additional countries. Iran has violated all of the guidelines set in the JCPOA (nuclear agreement) and is only around 10 weeks away from acquiring weapons-grade materials necessary for a nuclear weapon," Gantz said. "Now is the time for deeds – words are not enough. It is time for diplomatic, economic and even military deeds – otherwise the attacks will continue.”
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid noted that last week's attack affects international trade routes and freedom of movement and he called on the leaders to make sure the attack does not go unpunished.
“This is an international crime,” he said.
Nicole Jansezian is the news editor for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS