The Iranians have a major military presence now in Syria, either directly or via proxy forces including Hezbollah and Hamas, with the former becoming more emboldened as Damascus wraps up its civil war.
A recent speech by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah contained unusually aggressive statements reminiscent of Adolph Hitler in that he called for the ethnic cleansing of all Jews from Israel, and claimed that a future war would lead to Israel’s “demise.”
He also said that Israeli Jews should “leave and return to the countries from which they came so they are not fuel for any war that the idiotic [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu government takes them to. … They will have no secure place in occupied Palestine.”
Iranian leaders in the recent past have alluded often to destroying Israel, and there can be little doubt that Iran’s nuclear program, such as it is, for the time being, is aimed at developing weapons of mass destruction for the sole purpose of destroying the Jewish state. In fact, Tehran has often predicted Israel’s demise within 25 years.
“Israel should remain silent and count down the days to its death because any minor mistake would lead to its demise as fast as lightning,” said Iranian army commander Maj.-Gen. Abdolrahim Mousavi.
There are two messages Iran wishes to convey to Israel in these warnings. One, that the Shi’ite axis’ jihadist, long-term commitment to Israel’s destruction remains a goal; and two, a more immediate message: That Israel should not try to deter Iran from essentially taking over Syria.
And yet, Iran’s actions and the actions of its proxies are leaving Israel little choice.
Analyst Comment: None of this portends well for Israel, which cannot tolerate an Iranian presence on its borders. I will have much more on Israel-Iran developments in PIR 4 — what are the latest indicators of a new Middle East war — in this week’s Strategic Intel Summary, due out 13 October. Subscribe today by clicking here.