Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Thursday that Iran has enriched enough uranium to build five nuclear bombs.
“So far, Iran has gained material enriched to 20 percent and 60 percent for five nuclear bombs,” Gallant told his Greek counterpart, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, during a visit to Athens, the Times of Israel reported.
“Make no mistake – Iran will not be satisfied by a single nuclear bomb,” Gallant said, according to the report.
Israel accuses Iran of attempting to develop nuclear weapons and has repeatedly warned that it would take military action if diplomatic efforts fail to curb Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran has denied seeking to acquire nuclear weapons and insists that it has not attempted to enrich uranium beyond 60-percent purity. However, in February, the United Nations nuclear watchdog reported detecting particles of uranium enriched to 83.7 percent in Iran, just below the 90 percent required to produce a nuclear bomb.
Gallant warned that if Iran chooses to enrich uranium to 90 percent, it would be a “grave mistake” and “could ignite the region.”
This comes as efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal have stalled since last year. The deal offered Iran relief from international sanctions in exchange for strict but temporary curbs on its nuclear program.
The agreement unraveled after the US withdrew from it under former President Donald Trump in 2018.
Gallant also accused Iran of sending weapons to Syria for “terrorist” purposes on a weekly basis over the past six months.
“The Syrian regime should be aware that the IDF will respond forcefully to any attacks launched from its territory. We will not allow Iran to establish military power in Syria, or to build a highway for the delivery of advanced weapons to Lebanon,” he added.
Iran, a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has played a significant role in the Syrian conflict since its outbreak in 2011.
Israel has conducted hundreds of airstrikes against Iranian-backed forces in Syria since the conflict began.
On Wednesday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi began a two-day visit to Syria during which the two countries inked a set of long-term cooperation agreements that aim to enhance economic ties between the allies.
Raisi, who is the first Iranian president to visit Syria since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2010, held talks with Assad on Wednesday and met with Palestinian officials in Damascus on Thursday.
During his meeting with the Palestinian officials, Raisi called for the unification of “resistance forces” against Israel, saying: “The unity and cohesion of the resistance forces, the region, and the Islamic world are necessary to expedite the defeat of the Zionist regime.”
Iran has long been a major supporter of some Palestinian factions, including Hamas, providing them with both financial aid and weapons.