(National Sentinel) War Drums: Israel’s top defense official claimed on Thursday that the Iranian theocratic regime was “near collapse” and that his country would respond with overwhelming force if Tehran launched an attack.
“They know that the Iranian regime is in its final days and will soon collapse,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Elaph, an Arab-language publication, in an interview noticed by Israeli media Thursday.
He said Iran was being squeezed on two fronts — economically and militarily. He added that a U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal would see the reimposition of sanctions and cripple what remains of Iran’s economy.
Meanwhile, he said an Iranian military buildup in Syria risks igniting a wider war with Israel.
“If they attack Tel Aviv, we will attack Tehran,” Lieberman said.
As further noted by The Washington Examiner:
That’s a salvo in the barrage of warnings that clashes between Israel and Iranian-controlled forces in Syria could lead to a more direct clash between the regional powers. Iranian forces — and their Hezbollah terrorist proxies — have spread throughout key Syrian territory in recent years, joining with Russia to rescue President Bashar Assad from being overthrown in a long-running civil war.
Lieberman reiterated that Israel will not allow pro-Iranian forces to entrench themselves on Israel’s border.
“Iran is trying to establish bases in Syria and arm them with advanced weapons,” Lieberman said. “Every military outpost in Syria in which Iran seems to be trying to dig in militarily, we will destroy.”
Iranian leaders have responded by threatening to attack Israel directly, including the country’s supreme leader.
“If you provide an excuse for Iran, Tel Aviv and Haifa will be razed to the ground,” Ali Shirazi, an adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in mid-April.
During his talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, President Donald J. Trump said he was discussing the future of U.S. forces in Syria with the visiting European leader, with a focus on checking Iran’s spreading influence.
“I would love to get out,” Trump said during a joint press conference Tuesday with Macron. “With that being said, Emmanuel and myself have discussed the fact that we don’t want to give Iran open season to the Mediterranean, especially since we really control it to a large extent.”