Mossad chief: Iran increasing presence in former ISIS strongholds

14 Août, 2017, 02:24 | Author: Marie-Claire Cellier
  • Mossad chief: Iran increasing presence in former ISIS strongholds

Mossad head Yossi Cohen briefed government ministers Sunday on developments in the region - and those developments were not necessarily panning out in Israel's favor, Cohen told ministers. "In the places where ISIS' presence is decreasing, Iran is operating to fill the void", he said. "We see Shiite forces from the entire world massing in our region".

Israel has always been issuing cautions over a growing threat from its rival, Iran. There are two factors involved in the growth of Iranian and Shiite influence in the Middle East: one is the ceasefire in Syria, and the second is the impending defeat of the Islamic State, and the major losses IS has sustained in recent months.

The Middle East is "changing for the worse", the Hebrew news site Walla quoted Cohen as saying.

In the latter, Cohen said that Iran was expanding its influence in areas that IS has evacuated. In the Syria situation, Cohen said that an Israeli demand that Iranian and Lebanese Shiite forces be removed from the country as part of the ceasefire imposed by the USA and Russian Federation was rejected. Iran has been a chief force in fighting IS, and now the Iranians are reaping the benefits of their work.

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Israeli security officials have warned that Tehran may use the area of western Iraq and eastern Syria as a "land bridge" connecting the Islamic Republic to Lebanon, through which it can move fighters and weaponry. "Since the signing of the agreement, Iran has experienced economic growth and the new global deals are only strengthening its economy", he added.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said during the discussion that Cohen's assessment proves that the agreement between the major world powers and Iran was fundamentally unsound، and noted that Israel is not obligated in any way to the worldwide agreements signed by Iran.

The Prime Minister's Office added that "Israel will continue to operate with determination and in a variety of ways in order to protect itself from those threats".

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