Despite Iran’s threats, Israeli army pushes aggressive line against Tehran in Syria
IDF believes Iran won’t strike back before Trump’s deadline on nuclear deal, elections in Lebanon
Amos Harel May 04, 2018
Both the government and the military are sticking to an aggressive policy on Iran, arguing that Israel must continue to act in any way possible to stop Iran’s military consolidation in Syria.
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Even after the two latest airstrikes attributed to Israel in Syria, on April 9 and April 29, and despite Iran’s threats of revenge, there has been no sign of any change in Israeli policy.
The person spearheading this activist policy in the north is Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, whose position is backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Reportedly, no cabinet minister has voiced opposition to the IDF’s stance, despite the risks it entails.
According to the defense establishment’s analysis, Iran continues to send advanced weapons systems to Syria. But these arms are no longer necessarily slated to be passed on to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Instead, they are being used to bolster Iran’s military deployment in Syria, and may even be meant to prepare an Iranian military response against Israel.
For now, however, Tehran seems to be debating over the nature of its promised retaliation against Israel, and even more, over its timing.
One theory being advanced is that Tehran may be reluctant to respond prior to Lebanon’s parliamentary elections this coming Sunday and U.S. President Donald Trump’s expected announcement on May 12 as to whether his country is quitting the nuclear agreement with Iran. Israel’s announcement of the theft of Iran’s nuclear archive by Mossad agents is likely to increase Iranian leaders’ embarrassment.