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January 13, 2016 10:31 pm

Israeli Foreign Ministry Director: Expansionist Iran Wants to Turn Syria Into Iranian Province

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A Hezbollah operative. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A Hezbollah operative. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

“Iran wants to turn Syria into a province of Iran,” said the director-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Dore Gold, on Monday, according to Business Insider. 

Iran, said Gold, is “involved in creating a social and political change that incorporates Syria into the Iranian state.”

And Iran’s religious outreach to Syria is not just “a question of building Shi’ite mosques. It’s a question of a permanent deployment against Israel from the north,” he said, referring to the Iranian presence in the Syrian Golan Heights.

“That’s something we cannot accept,” he said, at a talk for the Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, DC, according to BI.

Iran’s backing of the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad is well known. The BI article suggested that Gold may have wanted to distinguish Iran’s support for Assad from Russia, which has also launched a military campaign in Syria helping to preserve the Damascus regime and stabilize Syria, but which also shares close military-to-military coordination with Israel, in part to ensure the two countries’ air forces do not accidentally collide.

In other words, Israel believes that whereas Iran may ultimately seek conflict with Israel — Israeli leaders fear a nuclear Iran poses an existential threat to the Jewish state — especially through the terrorist group Tehran helped found in Lebanon in the 1980’s, Hezbollah, Russia probably does not, according to BI. This may have been what Gold wanted to convey to the “potentially influential DC audience” on Monday, according to BI.

Gold’s comments came about a month after Hezbollah operative Samir Kuntar, who was apparently charged with organizing infrastructure for the group, was reportedly assassinated by Israeli aircraft just outside Damascus. Some Israeli reports suggested Kuntar was actually working for Iran at the time of his death, rather than Hezbollah, making the assassination more a message to Tehran.

Iran, like Russia, claims to be battling terrorist groups in Syria fighting to unseat Assad. Hundreds of Iranian Revolutionary Guards personnel have reportedly been killed in Syria, the most senior of which was Revolutionary Guard commander Hossein Hamedani last October. Additionally, hundreds of Hezbollah’s fighters have also been killed on the battlefield in Syria, according to Israeli reports.

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  • shloime

    iran’s ambitions in syria are far more nefarious than just annexing syrian territory, and are not just related to the civil war.

    iran was using hezbollah as their proxy against israel long before the syrian civil war began, and funnelled tens of thousands of missiles to them from syria. with a sympathetic dictator in damascus, they don’t need to “incorporate syria into the iranian state”, in order to protect their pipeline to hezbollah.

    with all due respect to dore gold, it’s lebanon, not syria, that iran has appropriated and turned into a launching pad against israel.

  • Theodore “Ted” Crawford

    I wouldn’t be too sure that Russia “probably” doesn’t share Iran’s desire for a future confrontation with Israel. What would it take for Russia’s Syrian military policy to switch to one of overt hostility toward Israel?

  • Jonah

    Their was a time Egypt was over thrown by the Muslim brotherhood. Obama had his man in place…..a southern flank to be armed to the hilt with billions of dollars of very sophisticated weapons to be used for one reason….and we all no what that reason was. Morsi was taken down by an uprising of moderate Egyptians. Now since the southern flank was foiled it lead to Bengazi, Isis, Syrias rebels, the Iranian deal, and the scriptural hooking of Russia’s jaws by the beast and drawing them into the conflict. Now what you should surmise from these actions are that Obama will not be stopped, every time his plans are foiled, he retriggers or reloads that gun he has pointed at Israel with a larger bullet. Now Israel has a northern flank to deal with…..God is tiring of Obamas escapades and will soon resolve the problem after much bloodshed. Maranatha, Maranatha, pray to God for the salvation and peace of Israel. Pray that the people of Israel will turn to God. Repent, repent, repent, sack cloth and ashes. Pray to God…he will fight your battles, or structure them in such a fashion you will be on the winning end. He will give you the wisdom you need to survive.