U.S. Officials: We Fully Support Israel's Right to Self-Defense Against Iran's Regional Campaign of Violence

(White House) Senior administration officials told reporters via teleconference on Thursday: "For the last 40 years, the [Iranian] regime has prioritized developing proxy militias that have their own long and bloody legacies to violence against civilians. Hamas has utterly ruined Gaza, isolating and impoverishing the Palestinian people living there, while Hamas uses the funds from Iran to support an endless cycle of violence against Israel." "Hizbullah has systematically infiltrated Lebanese institutions. And the designation of the Jammal Trust Bank illustrates how they are trying to exploit the Lebanese financial system....All legitimate institutions should be extremely wary of any interactions with Hizbullah or its affiliates." "The United States neither encourages nor discourages the Israeli attacks. The United States believes that the government of Israel has a right to defend itself from threatening activities throughout the region, wherever they may be." "It's our position that Israel is only acting because of Iran's actions. If Iran was not pouring heavy weapons and fighters into Israel's neighbors with the express purpose of threatening Israel, I don't think Israel would be needing to take any of these actions. And we fully support Israel's right to self-defense, and denounce Iran's regional campaign of violence." Q: "If Israel attacks targets in Iraq, what does the United States do when Israel's right to defend tramples over Iraq's sovereignty?" A: "I think that's actually an excellent question for the Iranians. Where is their respect for Iraqi sovereignty when they are putting this material into Iraq? That seems, to me, a pretty gross violation of sovereignty." "It's our position that if neighbors of Israel allow a malign third country that does not share a border with Israel to use their sovereign territory as a holding ground for increasingly sophisticated dangerous weapons, the only purpose of which is to attack Israel, I think those governments, if they cannot curb or control those elements, are going to have to be prepared to be responsible for them. So, be it Lebanon, be it Syria, be it Iraq, I think that has to be our very clear message to those governments."

2019-08-30 00:00:00

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