Photo Credit: Ariel Hermoni / Defense Ministry
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman

Israel does not object to diplomatic and commercial ties between Syria and Iran, but it will never allow Iran to turn Syria into a forward military base, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday in interview with Radio Farda.

Speaking to Iranian journalist Mehrdad Mirdamadi, Liberman told the Persian language network, which broadcasts to Iran from the Czech Republic, that Israel is not against “economic, diplomatic or other cooperation” between Syria and Iran, but it is completely opposed to Tehran establishing a “military presence and is opposed to its efforts to undermine the stability of the entire Middle East, the stability of our entire region.”

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Liberman said that Tehran’s aggression in the region had led Arab nations to realize that Iran’s extremist regime was their enemy and not Israel.

“This may be the first time that moderate Arabs understand that their main enemy is not Israel and Jews and Zionism, but Iran’s radical and extreme regime,” Liberman said.

“This shift in attitude is because of the Iranian regime, and of course this is a step forward,” Liberman added.

The defense minister told Mirdamadi that Israel has no problem with the Iranian people. “Our problem with this regime is its dogma and every day we hear a speech that it seeks to destroy Israel and will never accept our existence.

“Iran’s access to nuclear weapons is the greatest threat to everyone’s stability,” he continued. “Iran’s political ambitions in combination with nuclear weapons will be problematic for everyone.

“Why does a country that has one of the largest oil reserves in the world spend so much on its nuclear program and on developing ballistic missiles?”

Liberman furthermore told Mirdamadi that “Iran invests in terror instead of employment for its young generation… It is a fanatical regime that in Syria alone has spent $13 billion and spends $2 billion every year in financing terrorism throughout the Middle East.”

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