Iran Is Closely Watching U.S.-North Korea Nuclear Standoff

(Jerusalem Post) Herb Keinon - Briefing visiting U.S. lawmakers this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a map to show Iranian areas of penetration in the region. These areas extend from Yemen, through Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Lebanon. Hamas also said this week it was opening a new chapter in its relations with Tehran. In Syria, the Iranians are moving 20,000 Shi'a fighters from Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan into the southern part of the country, from where they can threaten both Israel and Jordan. With one government official putting the ratio at one Iranian soldier for every 12 militiamen, that would mean there are currently 1,700 Iranians soldiers within mortar range of Israel and Jordan. Former ambassador to the UN and Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold, who heads the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said, "The Iranians have applied a policy of encirclement toward Israel. They built up Hizbullah to a force bigger than most armies, and now they are expanding Hizbullah into Syria. And at the same time they have been working with Hamas." By the same token, the Iranians are currently trying to encircle Saudi Arabia. "The Iranians are using an insurgency force of Yemenite Shi'ites and creating a platform in Yemen for launching rockets into Saudi territory." The parallels are striking with how Iran has used Hizbullah in Lebanon to hit Israel. The Iranians, Gold said, are currently very carefully watching the standoff between the U.S. and North Korea. How the U.S. responds will also impact on Iran's hegemonic designs. "If Iran sees that the U.S. stood strong against North Korea, and North Korea blinked first, then the Iranians will have to think twice about escalating their own challenges to Washington in the future."

2017-08-11 00:00:00

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