Israel Fears Return of Persian Empire - Ben Caspit
A high-ranking IDF officer warned this week of the dangers faced by Israel from the developing radical Shiite axis:
- "When I compare the Sunni radical axis with the Shiite one, it's clear to me who's most dangerous. With all due respect to Islamic State achievements, the Sunni threat is along the lines of 'more of the same.' It's something we are familiar with. But the Shiite axis, on the other hand, is based on Iran. We are talking about a regional power that dominates 25% of the world's natural gas reserves and 11% of its petroleum reserves. It has tremendous human capital, high capabilities in science, technology, infrastructure, operational abilities, cyber developments."
- "Iran, Iraq, Syria, Hizbullah and now also Russia are closing ranks against the Sunni axis - including, to our stupefaction, even an international coalition headed by the United States - and this should worry us. Do we want Iran sitting on our doorstep? Do we want Iran, a country that de facto rules Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and enjoys Russian backup, to win in this confrontation? A country that maintains its standing as a nuclear-threshold state?"
- With regard to Russian involvement, the officer noted, "This development is very bad for Israel; it significantly strengthens the radical Shiite axis. The Russians aren't really interested in the Shiites. What they want is to rein in the Sunni awakening that is gushing through the Caucusus. They are embroiled in Dagestan; in Chechnya, they want to halt the Sunni wave that threatens them, thus they are taking action in Syria."
- Asked whether he was equally concerned about the Sunni axis, mainly the Islamic State, the officer answered, "No. Although it's true that the Sunni axis has scored startling achievements, they are totally isolated and not supported by any significant external power. They are facing off alone against the radical Shiite deployment that is supported by a regional power like Iran, a world power like Russia and an international aerial coalition headed by the United States."
- "History proves that large empires coming from the East never bring good tidings to the Jewish people. What we are witnessing now is the return of the Persian Empire. The nuclear agreement between Iran and the West...allows Iran to become an empire and increase its activities and influence throughout the Middle East. From our perspective, this is bad news indeed."
- "The Iranian adversary does not resemble any foe we have yet faced, on any scale of magnitude. The Persian civilization is much more impressive, developed and powerful than what we have today among the Arab countries. All this should worry us a lot."
Licensing Iran to Ship Missiles to Hizbullah - Tony Badran
The U.S. administration's diplomats will tell you there needs to be a compromise in Syria to end the killing, which means that Iran must preserve its legitimate core interest - namely, its link to Lebanon, where Hizbullah has tens of thousands of missiles aimed at Israel.
Iran's interest in Syria is to preserve the land bridge through which it supplies Hizbullah with long-range missiles.
The White House announcement that President Obama has brought Iran into formal discussions over Syria in Vienna is yet another public step on the path towards a broader policy of U.S. rapprochement with Iran. By recognizing Iran as a principal stakeholder in Syria and the region more broadly, America is choosing to legitimize Iran's local assets and means of projecting power.