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IDF Chief: Israel Seeking to Prevent Iran From Becoming North Korea of the Middle East

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IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot (center, holding binoculars). Photo: IDF via Wikimedia Commons.

Israel’s goal is to “prevent Iran from becoming the North Korea” of the Middle East, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot said in a Rosh Hashanah interview published by the Hebrew news site Walla on Wednesday.

“This is an effort of the State of Israel, the moderate Sunni states in the Middle East and the entire world,” Eizenkot stated.

Asked whether Iran was complying with the July 2015 nuclear deal it reached with six world powers, Eizenkot replied, “Iran violates certain elements of the agreement for tactical reasons. All in all, the Iranians are partly fulfilling [the deal].”

“Iran has been the main threat to Israel in the last decade,” he went on to say. “The Iranian threat has several components, one of which is the nuclear [issue], the second is high-trajectory, long-range weapons, and the third is the influence effort [in the region].”

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“The effort to thwart the Iranian nuclear threat has been a top priority for the military — before the agreement and after the agreement,” Eizenkot noted.

Israel, Eizenkot emphasized, will not permit Iran to establish a military presence in Syria near the border in the Golan Heights.

“This is a clear Israeli interest that has been manifested not only by words, but also deeds,” he said, in an apparent reference to reported IDF operations in Syria in recent years.

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