Israeli Mossad head Yossi Cohen cautions against Iran’s growing influence and menacing aspirations in the region, filling the void for ISIS.
Iran is filling the vacuum left by the Islamic State (ISIS) as its hold on territory in Syria and Iraq diminishes, Mossad director Yossi Cohen warned.
Briefing Israeli government ministers last week, Cohen said that the Middle East is “changing for the worse,” as Iran is spreading its influence both directly through Iranian forces and via local proxies in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
Cohen told the ministers that Tehran has not relinquished its objective of becoming a nuclear threshold state and that the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal with the P5+1 helped the Islamic Republic get closer to its goal and emboldened the regime in its regional aggression.
Cohen noted that Iran’s economy has grown since the signing of the nuclear deal.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Cohen’s warnings are further proof that the nuclear deal is seriously flawed. He pointed out that that Israel was not bound by international agreements signed by Iran, adding that Israel will continue to operate in various ways to protect itself from the Iranian threat.
In a statement on Cohen’s briefing, Netanyahu’s office said the Mossad head “emphasized that the main process taking place in the Middle East today is Iran’s expansion.”
Cohen’s remarks came as Iranian lawmakers on Sunday overwhelmingly voted to approve a bill allotting $2.5 billion to the IRGC Quds Force, the unit entrusted with the regime’s subversive activities abroad.
Billions were also allocated to expand Iran’s missile program. Tehran has repeatedly claimed that its military capacity is “defensive in nature” and poses no threat to other countries. However, Israel believes Iran’s weapons are an existential threat.
By: TPS and World Israel News Staff