Steinitz: Trump’s test is to expel Iran from Syria

The energy minister says that since the Iran has expanded operations all over the region ever since signing the nuclear deal.

February 20, 2017 20:36
1 minute read.
Iran Syria

Iranian Revolutionary Guard members in Tehran carry the casket of Iran Revolutionary Guards Brigadier General Mohsen Ghajarian, who was killed in the northern province of Aleppo , Syria . (photo credit: ATTA KENARE / AFP)

US President Donald Trump fails to expel Iran from Syria and prevent its expansion, there will be a very negative impact on the United States, Israel and the world, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz told the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Monday.

Steinitz, who is a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet, said the world is getting more dangerous and the global order has been under attack since the so-called Arab Spring began.

“The most urgent issue and the first big challenge of the Trump administration is Syria,” Steinitz said.

“The mission of Iran is to make Syria into an Iranian stronghold and an extension of the Islamic Republic.
Iran video urging boys to fight in Syria

The last thing we want is to have Iran on our northern border, and it is not a theoretical possibility.”

Steinitz said that if Trump manages to prevent such a disaster, it would be an important step that would lead to other initiatives in the region and beyond.

Since world powers made a deal with Iran, he said, the Islamic Republic had expanded operations all over the region.

“In Washington there were hopes Iran would moderate itself after the deal, but it only became more dangerous,” he said. “We had hoped the Iranian nuclear structure would be completely dismantled forever. Instead it was partially dismantled for 10 years.”

Steinitz said the most dangerous threats to global order are Iran and North Korea.

“While it seems we are much more disturbed by Iran than North Korea, there actually is very strong linkage between the behavior and ambitions of North Korea and Iran,” he said. “If you fail to contain North Korea, you will have to deal with Iran. If you let North Korea develop more, Iran will follow.”

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