Growing confrontation between Israel and Iran
Iran and Israel have been at loggerheads, and the confrontation between the two is only increasing. Last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran had augmented stocks of enriched uranium above the percentage permitted under the 2015 nuclear deal. Adding to it, Iran has announced that it has more than 120 kilograms of 20% enriched uranium.
Israeli airstrikes in Syria
Israel has conducted a spree of airstrikes against several alleged Iran-sponsored targets and rebels in Syria, a warning of sorts to Iran. Amid tens of hundreds of Israeli airstrikes, Syria recently claimed its missile defence systems shot down a few Israeli fired missiles. The situation got tense, consequent to which Russia had to intervene. During the Syria War, Russia has proven beyond doubt that it calls the shots when it comes to the Middle East.
Israeli PM’s Russia visit
With the Russian intervention, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made a special visit to the Russian city of Sochi to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin. Curiously, after the Putin-Bennett meeting, the Israeli media reported that President Putin asked Prime Minister Bennett for Israel to sharpen its coordination with Russia for strikes in Syria. The military conflict thus appears far from over. Also, the two state heads reportedly discussed ways to restrict Iran’s nuclear program.
Israeli warnings and Fund for Iran-strike
Israeli political and military leadership has been warning about impending Israeli military strike against the Iranian nuclear programme for a long. The latest to join this growing chorus is Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman. He said that conflict was the only way to stop Iran from reaching nuclear capability, and such a conflict was only a matter of time. Moreover, Lieberman also underlined that not a lot of time was left for such conflict.
Besides, Israel has approved a budget of $1.5 billion for military preparations to strike Iran’s nuclear program if need be.
US mystery spy plane
Amid all this, an intriguing deployment of the US Navy was spotted off the Syrian coast. A US aircraft carrier had UFO-like’ TR-3 Black Manta’ onboard. TR-3 is US supersonic stealth spy plane, which officially doesn’t exist. However, the deployment comes at a time when the US is trying to pull out of conflicts. Amid growing warmth between traditional US ally Israel and its conventional US adversary Russia, the reason behind such an advanced American deployment remains an object of speculation.
Overall, Israel-Iran rivalry is only worsening each passing day, threatening to pull the entire Middle East into its clutches. Only time can tell, till when can Israel allow Iranian nuclear fuel enrichment and whether we will have to see a full-blown Israel-Iran war.