Israel’s Defense Minister on Iran: We will not be spectators on the sidelines

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Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman adresses the Israeli parliament during a plenum session in the assembly hall of the Israeli parliament, on December 7, 2016. (Photo:Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel’s Defense Minister addressed Iran’s efforts to turn “Syria into a forward outpost against Israel” warning that the Jewish State will not “be spectators on the sidelines”.

Speaking at a conference Thursday following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s meeting with Putin in Sochi, Lieberman spoke of Iran’s military and territorial growth in the region, warning the Islamic Republic against their attempts to “create a new reality around us”.

The defense minister stated, “Iran, through the Revolutionary Guards, is trying to create a new reality around us. The fact that Iran is trying to turn all of Syria into a forward outpost against Israel, with military bases, thousands of Shiite mercenaries brought from all over the Middle East, an airbase and a naval base and the attempts to set up precision weapons production facilities in Lebanon.”

He warned, “Israel has no intention of tolerating these attempts. We will not be spectators on the sidelines.”

On diplomatic efforts including talks with Russia, talks with Trump’s delegation currently in the region and following meetings between White House and security officials with an Israeli security delegation including Mossad Director Yossi Cohen, Lieberman stated “We must exhaust all diplomatic channels, and that’s what we’re currently trying to do…I hope that we will be able to resolve this issue on the diplomatic level, with the help of the international community and vigorous activity in all directions, and that we don’t have to come up with different solutions.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu centered his meeting with President Putin on Iran- Cohen giving Putin an intelligence report Wednesday.

Netanyahu stated following his meeting with Putin “Iran is increasing its efforts to establish its military foothold in Syria. That is dangerous for Israel, the Middle East and, I believe, the whole world. Iran is already in advanced stages of taking over Iraq and Yemen, and in effect it also controls Lebanon… we are all defeating ISIS in a concerted international effort, and that is welcome. What is not welcome is Iran moving in everywhere ISIS moves out.”

He added on Israel’s defense “We do not forget for one minute that Iran continues to threaten Israel’s destruction every day. It is arming terrorist organizations and is itself instigating terrorism; and it is developing intercontinental missiles with the goal of arming them with nuclear warheads. For all these reasons, Israel continues to oppose Iran’s entrenchment in Syria. We will defend ourselves in any way against this threat and any threat.”

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, August 25, 2017, and reposted with permission.