Gantz warns UN Iran has tripled uranium enrichment in past year

The Israeli defense minister also showed a map of Iranian missile facilities across Syria.

By Debbie Reiss, World Israel News

Defense Minister Benny Gantz this week issued a harsh warning against Iran’s rogue activities, presenting a map of Iranian missile facilities across Syria and briefing the United Nations that Tehran had tripled its uranium enrichment rate over the last year.

“Iran is building terror industries in Syria for its needs. Recently it started building advanced industries in Yemen and Lebanon as well. This trend must be stopped,” Gantz said at the Jerusalem Post conference in New York on Monday.

Gantz pointed to the Scientific Studies and Research Center (CERS) in the northwestern Syrian city of Masyaf which produces advanced missiles for Iranian proxies including the Hezbollah terror group.

“Iran transformed CERS into production facilities for mid- and long-range precise missiles and weapons,” Gantz said, noting that the project was the vision of Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force who was assassinated by the U.S. under the Trump administration.

“The sites that I reveal to you on the map, and in particular the underground site in Masyaf where precision missiles are manufactured, constitute a significant potential threat to the region and to Israel,” Gantz said.

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Several CERS buildings were targeted in alleged Israeli air raids last month.

Earlier this month, Syrian state media blamed Israel for strikes on two international airports.

Gantz on Monday also shared intelligence materials with senior UN officials, including Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield, showing what he said was “significant” progress by Iran in developing in its nuclear program.

“The number of advanced centrifuges in Iran’s possession is substantial,” Gantz said. “At the Fordow facility, Iran tripled its enrichment capacity.”

According to the nuclear deal known as the JCPOA, Iran is prohibited from enriching uranium at that site.

“Iran currently enriches uranium to a level of 60%, but if it chooses to do so, it can raise the level to 90%” which is weapons-grade, he said.

“We must act to prepare an operational, and economic response and prevent a new deal that would not set the Iranians back,” Gantz said. “This matter must also be addressed by the UN security council,” he said.