Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz says that Iran is still a greater threat than the global Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror organization.
The terror group has spread its threat level to the borders around Iraq and Syria, and has taken over the Iraqi side of the sole border crossing with Jordan – an ominous sign – as well as two crossings with Syria, which is creating a growing security concern for Amman.
Asked in a radio interview whether Israel would help defend Jordan from ISIS, Steinitz said Sunday that Israel would certainly help the Hashemite Kingdom in its defense against the radical Islamist terrorists.
“Jordan is a strong state, but still, if Jordan were truly in danger from these jihadist extremists and asked for our assistance, Israel has a very clear interest in the existence of Jordan,” Steinitz said.
He added, however, that he believes the threat to the Hashemite Kingdom may have subsided, given the ability of Kurdish fighters to beat back the ISIS forces with the aid of U.S. air strikes in Iraq.
Steinitz acknowledged that the threat to the region from ISIS is real – but the threat to Israel and the rest of the world from Iran is far greater, he warned. ISIS, he said, “is a threat for a few years; Iranian nuclear weapons will be with us – if Iran becomes a nuclear power – for dozens of years.”
Steinitz recently met in Washington with American officials to discuss the upcoming nuclear talks with Iran, pointing out that while building a world coalition to fight ISIS is important, it is equally important not to forget the Iranian nuclear threat.