'Iran trying to move Yakhont missiles and SA-22 Air Defense Systems to Hezbollah'

Dore Gold talks to 'Jerusalem Post' as he makes his first trip as Foreign Ministry director-general to Berlin, which he says has recently turned into a focal point for Middle East diplomacy.

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August 20, 2015 17:00
2 minute read.
SA-22 Air Defense System

SA-22 Air Defense System. (photo credit: VITALY V. KUZMIN/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

 
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Iran is trying to transfer state-of the-art weaponry, including the SA-22 (Pantsir- S1) air defense system and the Y‑akhont anti-ship cruise missile, from military storehouses in Syria to Hezbollah, Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday from Berlin.

Gold, on his first trip to a European capital for high-level talks in his new role, said that Iran is busy trying to convert its signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action into diplomatic benefits in Europe.

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Berlin is one of the capitals the country is active in, he added.

He said that he explained to his interlocutors – including his counterpart in the German Foreign Ministry and senior officials in the German Chancellery – how the regional situation has become more complicated as a result of the Iranian nuclear deal, and how there is no evidence that Iran is moving in a more moderate direction in 2015.

Also holding high-level meetings in Berlin at the same time – apparently trying to convince the Germans of the opposite – was Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Middle East affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

Amir-Abdollahian, as well as Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah and the UN’s special envoy on Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, were in the German capital this week to discuss the Yemen crisis.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for the Saudis to halt military operations and for the establishment of a ceasefire in Yemen.

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Gold said that Berlin has recently turned into a focal point for Middle East diplomacy and briefed his interlocutors on the continued subversive efforts of the Iranians in the Middle East.

He said that such efforts have included trying to transfer arms to Hezbollah, recent attempts by the terrorist group to move explosives from Iraq into Kuwait, and efforts over the last six months to set up a new Hezbollah front against Israel on the Golan Heights.

If this type of activity has been going on for the last six months, Gold asked, “then what happens when the sanctions on Iran are lifted, and they get a cash bonus of up to $150 billion?” He answered, “Iran will then be equipped to radically increase its destabilizing activities along Israel’s borders.”

Gold said that his meetings in Berlin come at a time when “there is an underlying assumption in the West that Iran may be adopting a more moderate course of action.”

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