Israeli Defense Minister: U.S. Sanctions Will Curb Iran Funding Regional Terror

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Former Israel Minister for Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman at his election campaign headquarters on Janurary 23, 2013 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Netanyahu was re-elected for a third term and will return to office, according to exit polls. Israel had the highest turnout of voters …
Lior Mizrahi /Getty

TEL AVIV – The Trump administration’s November 4 sanctions will not prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb, but they will result in significantly reducing the regime’s ability to finance terror in the region, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Sunday night.

Liberman stated that “the first round of US sanctions had a big impact on Iran” causing “inflation [and] reducing foreign investments.”

“So the second round of sanctions will obviously have an even bigger impact. The fact that Iran will not be able to fund terror” is crucial and will negatively impact “Hezbollah, Hamas, proxies in Yemen and proxies in Iraq,” he said at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies.

However, sanctions alone will not deter Iran from pursuing its goal to obtain a nuclear weapon, Liberman said.

The defense minister also stated that the ayatollah regime was set to fall just like the communist regimes of the USSR, but that probably wouldn’t happen in the foreseeable future. Therefore, he said, “we need to deter Iran” from trying to get a nuclear bomb “and be ready for all scenarios.”

Regarding Hamas, Liberman said Israel must “strike a great blow” against the terror group in order to achieve quiet.

Also addressing the conference was former National Security Council Chief Yaakov Amidror, who said that Israel is able to withstand the challenges posed by Russia’s recent delivery of the S-300 antiaircraft missile system to Syria.

Amidror maintained that Russian President Vladimir Putin had erred by supplying the missile system, and that it would result in embarrassment for Russia when the IDF continues strikes in Syria despite its presence.

For the past several decades, Amidror said, “there is not a single Russian-made weapon that we have not figured out a technical-tactical solution for confronting. There is no reason to think Israel will not find a solution to the S-300.” Regarding the system, he added, “there are different S-300 models. It is a tactical [item] which has never been in the Middle East. We are not familiar with it. We need a deep intelligence process to know exactly which S-300 model was provided” to the Syrians.

He also asked, “Who is operating the S-300? The Russians? The Syrians? The Iranians? … We will act differently depending on … who pulls the trigger.”

“Israeli intelligence has been doing incredible work with both long-range surveillance and [covert] forces going in and out [of Syria] … to make sure the IDF hits targets exactly … and without hitting any of the Russian” crew, he said.

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan stated at the conference that the IDF should expand the scope of Iranian targets in Syria to include communications posts.

Erdan called on the Trump administration to formally declare its support for any Israeli strikes against Iranian targets in Syria.

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