Iranian terror activity significantly increases risk of war
Affected Countries: iran;
A senior Western official warns Sunday that Iran’s nuclear activities and its aggressive attempts to get a foothold in the Middle East, especially in Lebanon and Syria, which border Israel, significantly increase the risk of war.
According to the official, current tensions in the Middle East are essentially similar to those that prevailed on the eve of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
He further said that Iran is sparing no effort to improve the precision-missile capabilities of its regional proxies – Lebanon-based Hezbollah and Gaza Strip-based Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip – so as to use them against Israel.
Moreover, the source estimated that given the growing unrest in Lebanon, where the Shiite terrorist group is a major political power, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah may prove reckless and trigger war, especially if his organization persists in its efforts to pursue independent precision-missile production capabilities.
The latter is a clear red line for Israel, the official stressed. He added that Nasrallah is deeply concerned by the fact that Shiite youths have joined the anti-government protests sweeping Lebanon, as many of them believe that Hezbollah, which all but controls Beirut’s parliament, is rotten to the core.
Meanwhile, veteran diplomat Dennis Ross warned that the Trump administration’s policy of decreasing involvement in the Middle East, as well as its faltering response to Iranian provocations in the Persian Gulf, may foster conditions that could cause a conflagration in the region.
Ross, a former director of policy planning in the US State Department under President George H. W. Bush and special Middle East coordinator under President Bill Clinton, was speaking at the annual policy conference hosted by the European Leadership Network, a nongovernmental organization whose stated mission is to strengthen relations between Europe and Israel.
He further said that Iran is trying to exert maximum pressure on US allies in the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula, and Israel, to test the limits of the American response.
Israel, he said, will not be able to tolerate a reality in which Iran helps Hezbollah obtain and deploy tens of thousands of precision-guided missiles near its borders, which will undoubtedly trigger a regional confrontation.
Israeli military intelligence pegs Hezbollah’s missile arsenal at 150,000.
Ross further noted that the tremendous economic pressure the Trump administration is putting on Iran would not be enough to convince the Iranian regime to compromise or change its behavior.
Source: Israel Hayom