Israeli General Dismisses Iran’s Claim Jewish State’s Invincibility Is Crumbling
A retired IDF general dismissed Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s claim on Sunday that the downing of an Israeli fighter jet last week demolished Israel’s “so-called invincibility.”
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Zarif responded to a fiery speech from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by referring to the downing of an Israeli F-16 by anti-aircraft fire following an Iranian drone infiltration and retaliatory airstrikes.
“Once the Syrians have the guts to down one of [Israel’s] planes it’s as if a disaster has happened,” Zarif said. “What has happened in the past several days is the so-called invincibility has crumbled.”
“Of course it’s not true,” Brigadier-General (Res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, currently Senior Project Manager at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, told The Algemeiner regarding Zarif’s speech. “There’s no change in Israel’s power.”
In fact, said Kuperwasser, the drone infiltration is another in a long line of Iranian failures. The very reason Iran chose to make the attempt, he said, is because its use of proxy forces like Hezbollah and Palestinian groups have had little effect.
“They failed again and again,” Kuperwasser commented. Now Iran has resorted, for the first time, to direct military action, “and this also failed!”
The general expressed approval of Israel’s current policy toward Iran, saying, “On the question of whether Zarif is right: He’s wrong. Israel’s policies are on the whole correct, though it’s always possible to do more.” Israel, he added, still enjoys “a clear military advantage” over the Islamic Republic.
Prominent Israeli military analyst Ehud Yaari was more circumspect, saying that while “bombastic statements are a matter of routine in Iran,” the Iranians feel “they pose a real challenge to Israel by entrenching themselves and their proxies in Syria.”
In particular, Iran embraces the theory that Israel secretly wants the destruction of the ruling Syrian regime, and “they feel they have deprived Israel of its goal: the removal of Assad.”
Nonetheless, when asked whether Israel has successfully reestablished its deterrence against Iran, Yaari simply replied, “Oh yes.”
Speaking at the Munich conference before Zarif, Netanyahu held up a piece of the destroyed Iranian drone and said, “Israel will not allow the regime to put a noose of terror around our neck. We will act if necessary not just against Iran’s proxies but against Iran itself.”