Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid warned arch-foe Iran not to test his country’s “long arm” in a video on Tuesday as he stood next to an F-35 stealth bomber.
Iran has been engaged in talks with major powers to restore a 2015 agreement that gave it sanctions relief in return for guarantees it would not obtain nuclear weapons, a goal it has always denied pursuing.
Israel, which views the deal as flawed, has vowed to do whatever it takes to stop its arch-foe from obtaining a nuclear arsenal.
“It is still too early to know if we have indeed succeeded in stopping the nuclear agreement, but Israel is prepared for every threat and every scenario,” Lapid said.
“If Iran continues to test us, it will discover Israel’s long arm and capabilities,” he said, vowing to “continue to act on all fronts against terrorism and against those who seek to harm us.”
Prime Minister Yair Lapid, today at the Nevatim Air Force Base:
“It is still too early to know if we have indeed succeeded in stopping the nuclear agreement, but Israel is prepared for every threat and every scenario." pic.twitter.com/iSch0xfsb1
— Prime Minister of Israel (@IsraeliPM) September 6, 2022
“As (US) President (Joe) Biden and I agreed, Israel has full freedom to act as we see fit to prevent the possibility of Iran becoming a nuclear threat.
Lapid’s remarks were made during a visit to a southern Israeli air base, in a video his office issued of him speaking with a US-made F-35 in the background.
The F-35 is a supersonic plane whose advanced stealth characteristic allows pilots to avoid detection by radars, according to Lockheed Martin.
Last week, Boeing announced a deal to supply Israel with four KC-46A refueling planes in the coming years which would be used in the case of a long-distance attack.
Lapid’s remarks came as the head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, David Barnea, was visiting the US as part of a “diplomatic campaign against Iran,” the premier’s office said in a statement.
Barnea had departed for the United States on Monday for meetings with officials in American security agencies.
The United States unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 under then-president Donald Trump.
The Biden administration has been seeking to return to the accord, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.