Iran to remain in Syria as long as Damascus needs: spokesman

Report Explosions heard at Iranian facility near Damascus

On Thursday 10 May, Israel claimed to have destroyed almost all Iranian military installations and facilities close to Israel- Syria border in mid-night raids in response to the alleged Iranian rocket attacks. Now there are forecasts of more thunder to come, this time between Iran and Israel in a conflict that would be on an entirely different scale were it to come about.

Syrian state TV says that government forces are to resume their offensive against the Islamic State group in the south of the capital, after evacuating a group of civilians from the area.

Tension has been running high along the Syrian border amid Israeli accusations the Iran and Shia Hezbollah group have been building up a military presence in war-torn Syria.

As for the Russians, they have decreased the number of their forces in Syria and when such a withdrawal for foreign forces takes place, they are believed to remain in two bases they have in Syria, namely the air base in Hmeimim in the countryside of Latakia city and the naval base in Tartus city. And - to make things worse - as Iranian officials raced to contain the damage from these two events, Israel hyped up its pounding of Iranian military targets in Syria, with the Russians looking on.

The aggressive American penetration of president George W. Bush's regime into the fringes of the Middle East (the Afghanistan war of 2001) and to the heart of the region (the Iraq war, 2003) led to the reinforcement of Iran; Washington had removed its two main enemies. After decades of USA leadership in the region, these countries grew used to, and benefited from, a US -enforced regional order.

Iran is another important Assad ally. At the same time, Israeli warplanes are attempting to destroy these sites and weapon systems before they get deeply entrenched. For his part, Russian ex-deputy foreign minister Andrei Fedorov was more candid: "For us, the problem is a traditional one: entrance is one cent, exit is one dollar".

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However, Iran's expansion as a regional power largely took place before the nuclear deal was signed, and the comprehensive global sanctions that existed in the years leading up to the agreement did not deter Tehran's support for extremist groups in Arab countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen.

However, such trade would likely mean Iran having to import goods in exchange for oil rather than paying for them in cash. All members of the coalition verified that Iran was following the agreement. Trump took us out of the deal. Israel, in turn, has stepped up its military actions in Syria, attacking bases where Iranian troops and equipment are based.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif is doing his best to save the nuclear deal, of course with the permission of Iran's supreme leader. Its involvement in anti-Israeli activities in Lebanon, Syria and the Gaza Strip started soon after its establishment during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.

If the oil embargo returns, and China as the biggest single buyer of Iran's oil also hesitates to do business with Tehran, then Iran would be better off leaving the deal and waiting for a new approach from the Trump administration.

Mr Lieberman said: "We, of course, struck nearly all the Iranian infrastructure in Syria, and they need to remember this arrogance of theirs".

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