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Netanyahu Again Warns Iran and Hezbollah

Analysts Weigh in With Risks and Highlights

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Posted on: 
15 Jul 2019
Netanyahu Again Warns Iran and Hezbollah
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made public statements on Sunday warning Iran and its Lebanese terror proxy Hezbollah not to test Israel’s ability to defeat them on the battlefield. “The only thing that the terrible (JCPOA) nuclear agreement gave is a strong and sweeping rapprochement with major Arab countries," Netanyahu said during his speech to National Security College cadets visiting the Prime Minister’s Office. "Iran says simply: 'We will destroy you and destroy you first by nuclear weapons…at the moment, the only army in the world to fight Iran - this is the Israeli army."

At the regular cabinet meeting a few hours earlier, Netanyahu addressed a recent threat made against Israel by Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Iranian-backed Lebanese terror militia Hezbollah. During an interview on Friday with Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV to mark the 13th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War, Nasrallah said that “any war will be bigger than the 2006 war for Israel, and it will put it on the brink of extinction.” Netanyahu countered what he referred to as Nasrallah’s “boastful words,” by saying that if Hezbollah “dared to do something foolish and attack Israel, we would impose a crushing military blow on it and on Lebanon…I do not intend to elaborate on our plans. Suffice it to say that for years Nasrallah dug terror tunnels, which we destroyed within days.”

Nasrallah also addressed the threats against his patrons in Teheran, declaring that “Iran is able to bombard Israel with ferocity and force. A threat to destroy Saudi Arabia and the UAE cannot deter the US from waging a war on Iran, but rather the threat to attack its forces in the region and Israel. When the Americans understand that this war could wipe out Israel, they will reconsider. The region will burn in the event of a war on Iran.”

Meanwhile, US and UK military forces in the Persian Gulf have been reinforced, even as Britain joined with France and Germany to issue a joint statement on Sunday lamenting the precarious standing of the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal, adding that “the risks are such that it is necessary for all stakeholders to pause, and consider the possible consequences of their actions. We believe that the time has come to act responsibly and to look for ways to stop the escalation of tension and resume dialog." 

“The situation is serious. The rise of tensions could lead to accidents," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters when asked about the risk of a wider Middle East war. "The fact Iran has decided to pull back from some of its engagements on nuclear proliferation is an additional worry. It is a bad decision, a bad reaction to another bad decision, that of the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal a year ago."

“The conditions in the Gulf are rather volatile, but it does not rise to the level of war in the region, at least not in the near future,” Gulf-based political analyst Ahmad Obaid Syaf told The Media Line over the weekend. “The involvement of new parties helped Iran to challenge the status quo. In the past it was just Iran by itself. Today, it is Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen. Add to that the entry of Turkey.”

Here are some videos that give a closer look at the current situation regarding Iran and Hezbollah


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