Israeli cabinet minister: Iran may strike Israel as Trump turns screws on Tehran

A member of Israel’s Security Cabinet said that Iran may attack Israel as Trump squeezes the country over its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel’s Minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz said that Iran may attack Israel through its proxies, or even directly, in retaliation for the increased pressure brought on the Islamic Republic by the United States. Mr. Steinitz is a member of Israel’s Security Cabinet.

“If there’s some sort of conflagration between Iran and the United States, between Iran and its neighbors, I’m not ruling out that they will activate Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad from Gaza, or even that they will try to fire missiles from Iran at the State of Israel,” Steinitz told Ynet.

Things are “heating up,” Minister Steinitz said.

Most recently, the U.S. announced it was setting up Patriot missile batteries in the Mideast.

Last week, the U.S. declared that its sending the USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber squadron to the Mideast after it had received intelligence reports that Iran intended to attack U.S. forces in the region. The U.S. was not specific but reports later emerged that the intelligence might have concerned Iran moving short-range missiles by boat, possibly as a prelude to an attack.

On Wednesday, Iran threatened an ultimatum to European leaders that if the 2015 nuclear deal wasn’t revisited, it would restart uranium enrichment. Trump slapped additional sanctions on Iran also on Wednesday targeting the country’s iron, steel, aluminum and cooper sectors.

Those sanctions appear to be taking effect. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for unity to overcome conditions that he said could prove harder than during the Iran-Iraq war.

“Today, it cannot be said whether conditions are better or worse than the (1980-88) war period,” Rouhani said. “But during the war we did not have a problem with our banks, oil sales or imports and exports, and there were only sanctions on arms purchases.”

Rouhani is reportedly under pressure from Iranian hardliners after the U.S. pulled out of the nuclear deal negotiated under his rule.