Iran's Zarif says Israel's "myth of invincibility" has crumbled

by Garry Watts February 19, 2018, 8:45
Iran's Zarif says Israel's

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have traded barbs over a recent cross-border airstrike by Israel.

In response, Zarif slammed what he called Netanyahu's "cartoonish circus", adding it "does not even deserve the dignity of a response". "Israel will act not just against Iran's proxies that are attacking us, but against Iran itself".

Israel's prime minister has said his government could "act" directly against Iran, showing off what he called a piece of an Iranian drone which the Israeli military claims to have downed more than a week ago. "You should, it's yours".

The gun is the ballistic missiles that the Iranians are developing, unchecked by the nuclear deal and undeterred by UN Security Council resolutions, he said.

Netanyahu, a staunch critic of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, used the occasion to draw a parallel between the 1938 Munich Agreement, seen as a failed attempt to appease Nazi Germany and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Netanyahu said that while a US-led coalition against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria was regaining territory from militants, Iran was stepping in.

"You should, it's yours", Netanyahu said.

The prime minister has always been concerned about Iran's influence in the Middle East and warned that the country's power is growing as militant groups like ISIS lose territory. Several regional and worldwide powers, including the United States and Russian Federation, have troops on the ground in Syria, while Israel has carried out airstrikes on Syrian government forces.

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"Israel will continue to act to prevent Iran from establishing another terror base from which to threaten Israel".

Likewise, Iran and Hezbollah are not looking to escalate in the near term-both are still focused on the conflict in Syria.

"Anyone who's asking how big is the power of the State of Israel can read into that experience", the minister said, suggesting: "I think the Syrians understand that it's not worth their while". "There has to be a fundamental change in the Iranian regime for Iran to be treated as a normal country". John Kerry, the former US secretary of state who helped clinch the agreement, said it was wrong to assume Iran would obtain a nuclear weapon as soon as the 15-year scope of the deal ends.

On Sunday morning, police said they had arrested two "very close" associates of Netanyahu - reportedly the director of a ministry and a spokesman - in so-called Case 4000, along with three senior officials in the Bezeq phone company and two relatives of one of the officials.

On Sunday evening, Netanyahu denounced the investigation.

Lebanon's defence minister, Yacoub Riad Sarraf, who spoke after Netanyahu, said: "Watch out, we will defend ourselves ... we also have friends".

"The fact that we have this newfound relationship with the Arab countries - something that ..."

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