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Netanyahu warns against emerging nuclear deal amid Iranian northern front ambitions

During a visit yesterday to the Golan Heights, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautioned against what appears to be a nascent nuclear deal between the international community and Iran. He also warned that Iran is attempting to effectively open a northern front with Israel.

Netanyahu was visiting the IDF’s Hermon Division a week after a Hezbollah anti-missile rocket attack killed two Israeli soldiers in the region. Referring to Iran’s support for Hezbollah and other terror groups, Netanyahu commented, “For some time Iran is trying to open a new front here [Syria], in addition to the one it has already opened in southern Lebanon and in Gaza.” His comments were echoed by Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who accompanied Netanyahu. Ya’alon said, “Iran is involved here in building terrorist infrastructure, in carrying out hostile action on the Golan Heights. This is Iran.”

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Air Force commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh appeared to bolster Netanyahu’s allegations, telling Fars news agency yesterday, “The Islamic Republic of Iran has helped Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Lebanon’s Hezbollah by exporting the technology that it has for the production of missiles and other equipment.”

Netanyahu also warned yesterday against what appears to be an emerging compromise between the United States and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear programme. AP and Israel’s Army Radio reported that in advance of a 30 June deadline agreed by the P5+1 powers (US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany) and Iran to agree a long term accord, American officials have agreed that Iran can keep the bulk of its centrifuges used to enrich uranium under certain restrictions or in return for wider regional security guarantees.

Netanyahu yesterday criticised “leading countries in the world” which are “racing to forge a deal that would enable Iran to have nuclear weapons,” calling it “the greatest danger of all.” He pledged, “Israel will oppose this deal, which is dangerous to us, dangerous to the region, dangerous to the world.”