The Jewish state has issued a warning to Iran and its proxy Hezbollah ‘not to test Israel’s determination to preempt any aggression directed against it’ after the IDF exposed an infrastructure network along the country’s border with Syria – a revelation that was reported on TV7 Israel News last night.
In a filmed statement from his residence in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directed a scathing threat toward the Islamic Republic and its proxy, saying: “Israel knows what you’re doing (and) Israel knows where you’re doing it.” The Prime Minister further stressed that Jerusalem “will continue to use all means” to block Tehran’s efforts to use Israel’s hostile neighbor’s, including Syria, Lebanon and Gaza, as bases from which to attack the Jewish state.
According to Netanyahu: “Israel exposed a Hezbollah terror network on the Golan Heights. Hezbollah is a terror organization. It’s a proxy of Iran. It does Iran’s bidding and this terror network is part of Iran’s aggression against Israel. So I have a clear message for Iran and for Hezbollah: Israel knows what you’re doing; Israel knows where you’re doing it. What we’ve uncovered today is just the tip of the iceberg. We know a lot more. Israel will continue to do all that’s necessary to defend itself. We will continue to use all means, overt and covert, to block Iran’s effort to use Syria, Lebanon and Gaza as forward bases for attacking Israel.”
Meanwhile, Iran’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami has vowed to “respond firmly” to any Israeli naval action against the Islamic Republic’s oil shipments. In a statement quoted by the country’s IRNA news agency, Minister Hatami further stressed that “The Iranian armed forces have certainly the capabilities to protect the country’s shipping lanes in the best way against any possible threat.”
The comments by the Iranian top defense official came in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks made last week at an IDF naval academy graduation ceremony. The Israeli top diplomat stated that “Iran is trying to bypass the sanctions on it through the covert smuggling of petroleum via the sea. As these attempts expand, the navy will have a more important role in efforts to block these Iranian actions.”
According to maritime experts, Iran uses a variety of measures to evade sanctions, including changing the names or flag registries of their transport ships, switching off location-transponders and conducting ship-to-ship transfers offshore.
After the Special U.S. Representative for Iran Brian Hook called the Iranian transport vessels that undergo such measures “floating liability”, he also warned in November of 2018 that the American sanctions would bar Iran from international insurance markets, deeming its vessels ‘a risk for ports and canals which allow them access.’
The Iranian Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to TV7’s request for comment. That said, on several occasions Iranian officials have threatened that any attempt by the United States to block the Islamic Republic’s oil exports will result in Tehran’s blockage of the Strait of Hormuz, where a third of the world’s sea-borne-oil is shipped-through on a daily basis.