Iranians at the Gates

(Times of Israel) Avi Issacharoff - The disappearance of the Islamic State from wide swaths of Syria, together with the superpowers' lack of interest in removing Syrian President Assad from power, are paving the way for an Iranian takeover of these territories. At the same time, massive numbers of Hizbullah troops loyal to Iran have entrenched themselves in southern Lebanon. Israel won't abide the presence of Shi'ite forces on the border, be they Hizbullah or other Iran-backed militias. Jerusalem has warned against Iranian efforts to set up missile production facilities in Lebanon. Tehran is investing enormous resources in order to transform Syria into an Iranian province, with thousands of Shiites in Tehran's pay who are deployed throughout Syria. The Russians are really the only ones who can make a difference. But they have no intention of doing so. For them, the presence of thousands of Shi'ites will shore up Assad's regime. Iran's massive investments are likely an outgrowth of increased financial stability thanks to the Iran nuclear deal. Iran's Revolutionary Guards have seen a 40% bump in their budget compared to last year. Without sanctions relief, could Tehran have even dreamed of building a new Persian Empire stretching from Yemen to Lebanon?

2017-09-04 00:00:00

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