Israeli forces are carrying out more special operations beyond the country's borders and will be ready to attack Iran's nuclear sites if ordered, the chief-of-staff said in an interview on Sunday.
In an extract from an interview with the top-selling Yediot Aharanot daily, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said that 2012 would be a critical year in efforts to halt what Israel and much of the international community believe is an Iranian nuclear arms programme.
"We think that a nuclear Iran is a very bad thing, which the world needs to stop and which Israel needs to stop -- and we are planning accordingly," Gantz said. “In principle, we are ready to act. "That does not mean that I will now order (air force chief) Ido (Nehushtan) to strike Iran," he added in the interview which will be published in full on Wednesday, on the eve of Israel's 64th anniversary as a state.
Building captured US drone’s copy: Iran
Iran said Sunday that it had reverse-engineered a US spy drone captured by its forces last year and has begun building a copy. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, chief of the aerospace division of the Revolutionary Guards, related what he said were details of the aircraft's operational history to prove his claim that Tehran's military experts had extracted data from the US. RQ-170 Sentinel was captured in December in eastern Iran.