Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz has appeared before a key Knesset committee to argue for a higher defense budget, citing Iran as the major threat.

Gantz said the most significant threat Israel faces is Iran and its nuclear program, adding the armed forces need the means to confront the danger.

“We see that Iran is advancing toward the level of enrichment that would allow it, when it wished, to become a threshold state — and we are making every effort to prevent that. We will invest in our offensive and defensive capabilities, improve our technological superiority, and accelerate our efforts to ensure that — even though Iran is foremost a global and regional challenge — Israel will always have the ability to defend its citizens with its own forces,” The Times of Israel quoted him as saying.

Israel’s channel 12 reported Monday that a budget of roughly $1.5 million is being allocated to procure the necessary weapons to confront Iran if it refuses to return to nuclear talks with Western powers.

Gantz also said that a higher budget is needed for a two-front war, a possible reference to a conflict with Palestinian groups in Gaza or with the Lebanese Hezbollah, both backed by Tehran.

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