A ballistic missile is launched and tested in an undisclosed location, Iran, March 9, 2016. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Friday Iran that the fall of ISIS in Syria could place Iran within “spitting distance” of Israel.
“As ISIS contracts, Iran moves in,” Netanyahu said in a conversation Netanyahu held at Chatham House in London. Iran wanted to “colonize” Syria economically and militarily, Netanyahu warned adding that as part of that plan, it wants to military bases in Syria close to Israel’s border.
To illustrate his point, he stood up and used the map on the wall in back of him to show the areas where Iran plans to gain a military foothold.
“They want to move their air bases to have fighter air craft within seconds of Israel. They want to put Shiite divisions within spitting distance of Israel," Netanyahu said.
Until now Israel has not intervened in Syria, Netanyahu said, save for treating the wounded from that conflict. It has also acted to prevent Iran from moving advanced weapons through Syria to Hizbollah in Lebanon. “When Hizbollah approached our border, when they tried to extend the terror front they have in Lebanon to Syria, we acted to stop them,” Netanyahu said.
During his time in London, Netanyahu has focused on the threat of a nuclear Iran. He urged British Prime Minister Theresa May to take steps to put safeguards around the Iran nuclear deal to ensure that Iran would not have the capacity to produce nuclear weapons in the future. “We will not let Iran acquire nuclear weapons or a nuclear weapon. We mean what we say and we back that up with action,” Netanyahu said.
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