Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK), a leading member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Intelligence Committee, warned on Monday that the Iranian regime’s threats against Israel are growing through the expansion of its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)’s political and military footprint across the Middle East.
Iran’s “aggression against Israel has become much more widespread,” Cotton said during a conference on counterterrorism hosted by the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC. “It’s a very dangerous advance that Iran is making through northern Iraq and southern Syria.”
“For instance, Iran is now providing not just rockets, it’s helping to build precision-guided munitions factories in Syria, on the border with Lebanon, where Hezbollah can manufacture its own precision-guided munitions to use against Israel,” Cotton reportedly said. He added:
“We can’t allow the IRGC (Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps) to have, unmolested, resupply lines going from Iran into the Levant” and noted, “It’s not in the interest of the United States to have a revolutionary cause backed with the powers of a nation state expanding its influence throughout the region.”
Some analysts have suggested war between Israel and Iran-backed proxies is merely a matter of time.
During his speech at the United Nations General Assembly last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran will face “no fiercer enemy than Israel as long as it seeks our destruction.”
Cotton noted that Iran and its allies, the so-called Shiite axis of power, are the “most dangerous” elements in the Middle East. In second place, he listed the Muslim Brotherhood.
Also on Monday, Iran’s Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani warned European countries and the United States not to meddle in Iran’s defense activities. “Europe has no right to meddle in our defense affairs,” Larijani said during a meeting with senior Judiciary officials in Tehran, according to Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency. “The Europeans should realize that if they want to (follow the US) and interfere in our defense affairs, we will stand against them as we did against the US.”
Larijani reportedly also said that Iran’s missile program is for defense and non-negotiable.
On October 1, an explosively formed penetrator (EFP) — linked with Iran — killed an American soldier in Iraq, indicating the Iranian regime is transferring advanced weapons to its proxies.