“The best way to understand Iran,” said Israeli lawmaker Avi Dichter, is to imagine Hitler with a nuclear bomb during World War II.
“Iran is a regional superpower. They see themselves not as North Korea, but as the [2,500 year old] historic Persian kingdom. That is their model, that’s what they want to become in our region,” said former Shin Bet head and current Head of the Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, Member of Knesset (MK) Avi Dichter on Monday.
Speaking at the 2017 International Christian Media Summit in Jerusalem, Dichter laid out for the audience what he views as Israel’s biggest security challenges with a general briefing about the unique challenges facing Israel in its war on terror, but devoted the bulk of his lecture to speaking about Iran and its nuclear capabilities.
“Over the last 15-20 years, every single development in the Iranian nuclear project was revealed by the western intelligence services, and not once did Iran put on the table that their plan was to have nuclear bombs”, Dichter said, addressing the fact that Iran has never willingly shared information about its nuclear plans, and that there is no reason to expect them to do so moving forward.
Dichter spoke of two corridors in the Middle East which comprise Iran’s regional strategy – the northern corridor – which consists of Iraq, Lebanon and Syria – all three of which suffer from heavy Iranian involvement in each country’s in-fighting with the help of proxies such as Hezbollah, and the southern corridor – consisting of Oman and Yemen, where Iranian proxies are constantly battling Saudi backed forces for influence.
Iran’s Dangerous Proxies
Dichter also pointed at Hamas in Gaza as an Iranian proxy, despite the former being Sunni and the latter Shiite.
“If Iran succeeds [in obtaining nuclear warheads], it will not only be an Israeli problem – other countries in the Middle East understand that Iran is developing long range missiles, that can carry nuclear warheads for a distance of up to 2500 KM. Everyone knows that is twice their distance from Israel… Egypt understands they are targets, and Saudi Arabia understands they are targets, and they want to block Iran by all means.”
Dichter hypothesized that should Iran obtain nuclear weapons, or other “dirty” bombs, that they would give them to one of their proxies such as Hezbollah or even Hamas, and that way avoid responsibility and blame for any potential outcome.
“In Israel, we assess threats by two factors – intent and capability. Their intentions are very clear – they say publicly that they aspire to wipe Israel out, once they get the capabilities. That’s a [serious] threat.”
“Israel may be a regional superpower, but it is not a global superpower,’ he continued. “Iran should be taken on as a project by the global superpowers, with America leading.”
To drive his point home, Dichter told the crowd to imagine Hitler with a nuclear bomb during World War II – “That’s the best way to understand Iran,” he declared.
By: Yona Schnitzer/TPS
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