Photo Credit: Kobi Richter/TPS
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the ceremony of appointing Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi as the Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff, in Ha-Kirya, the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv, Jan 15, 2019.

Iran was lying to the world and disguising its ballistic missile development project as a failed satellite program, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged.

Speaking at the IDF Headquarters in Tel Aviv on Tuesday during a ceremony for the IDF’s new Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, Netanyahu said that Israel “has to poke holes in Iran’s lies. Iran lies all the time. It is lying now about a seemingly innocent satellite launch into space, but is actually testing the first phase of an intercontinental missile, in violation of all the agreements.”

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Netanyahu made his remarks just hours after Iran said it had launched a satellite that had failed to reach orbit.

Tehran’s missile tests are banned under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the Iran nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1 powers (US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany), and explicitly prohibits Iran from tests and other activity with ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Netanyahu further “advised” the Iranians to leave Syria “quickly because we will continue our offensive policy as we have promised and as we do, without fear and without pause.”

Netanyahu’s was responding to remarks by Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who claimed Monday that Iran did not have a military presence in Syria and that Iranians in the country were merely serving as “advisors.”

Iran’s military build-up in Syria remains a red line for Israel, which has carried out hundreds of attacks to thwart the Iranian entrenchment in the war-torn country.

Iran uses its positions in Syria to transfer weapons and infrastructure to its terror proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah, while attempting to establish another military front against Israel from the Syrian Golan Heights.

Netanyahu confirmed earlier this week that Israel was behind strikes against Iranian targets inside Syria.

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