Photo Credit: Ariel Hermoni, courtesy the Defense Ministry
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman during maneuvers by the northern border.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told reporters Tuesday the United States may help curb international terror this year after having reimposed economic sanctions on Iran.

“The renewal of sanctions on Iran is a necessary step, particularly from those who are fighting terrorism,” Liberman said.

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Liberman said the billions of dollars received by Iran through the lifting of sanctions after signing the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal with world powers, were used by the Islamist regime to help fund terror.

“The [JCPOA] agreement brought billions of dollars to the regime, which used that money not for the benefit of its citizens, but for terrorism and subversion all across the Middle East,” Liberman said.

Tehran allocates an annual “terror support budget” of $2.5 billion a year to funding the “Quds Force in Syria, funding Hezbollah, funding the Shiite militias in Iraq, funding the Houthi militias in Yemen, funding Hamas and Islamic Jihad,” he added.

“We see the Syrian army, which isn’t settling for just capturing all Syrian territory, but is clearly building a broad new ground forces army which will return to its previous size and even beyond,” Liberman said.

“That’s why we’re monitoring every development, and we are ready for any scenario.”

Liberman had said last week that the situation in Syria is returning to the way it was prior to the civil war in 2011, “meaning there is a real address, someone responsible, and central rule.” He added that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “understands what will happen if it does not return to the previous situation, and I assume that he will make his own decisions.”

Israel, however, “will not give up our security interests,” Liberman underscored.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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