(August 29, 2018 / JNS) Israel will not relent on its effort to push Iran away from its borders, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has “made the struggle against the Iranian military’s entrenchments in Syria a top priority,” a senior Jerusalem source said on Tuesday.
The remarks followed reports that Iran and Syria have signed a deal for military cooperation as part of which the Islamic republic has pledged to rebuild the Syrian army, which has been severely depleted by the seven-year civil war.
The official said the Israel Defense Forces “will continue to act with full determination against attempts by Iran to transfer military forces and weapons systems to Syria.”
He added, “Diplomatically, we will continue with our effort to [have the international community] exert pressure on the Iranian regime, as we have seen it take its toll.”
Iran’s Parliament subjected President Hassan Rouhani to a public grilling on Tuesday over the country’s economic crisis, and rejected his answers as “excuses.”
Rouhani, who was summoned to answer to Parliament amid growing public criticism of the regime, admitted that U.S. sanctions on Iran were having a serious impact on the economy, saying, “Many people have lost their faith in the future of the Islamic republic and are in doubt about its power.”
Commenting on the Iran-Syria deal, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that “the pact between Syria and Iran for rehabilitating the Assad army is an excuse and a facade meant to grant legitimacy to the Iranian forces remaining in the area. But as far as we are concerned, no machinations keeping the Iranians in the area will be acceptable.”