SYRIA (OBSERVATORY) – Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said that Israel would hit the Russian S-300 air defense systems that Syria might acquire if it was used against Israeli aircraft.
Lieberman said in an interview with Russia’s Kommersant newspaper published on Wednesday.
“If these (weapons) are not directed against us, this is something that does not concern us,” he said, in response to a question about Israel’s response if Syria received the S-300 systems. Our aircraft, we will certainly respond to these systems.”
In response to a question about the possibility of coordination between Russia and Israel in Syria, Lieberman stressed that the Israeli side takes into account Russia’s interests in Syria and hopes that Russia will take into account Israel’s interests in the security field.
“We have a hotline between the Israeli army and the Russian units based in Syria, and we always take into account Russia’s interests in Syria, and we very much hope that Russia will also take into account Israel’s interests regarding our security,” he said.
In another context, Lieberman stressed Israel’s intention to stop Iran’s attempts to gain a foothold in Syria, saying that the Israeli side would not allow Tehran to establish military bases on Syrian territory, directed against Israel.
“What we will not allow is Iran’s attempts to turn Syria into an advanced crossing point against us. We saw how Iran tried to attack Israel and launched an unmanned drone toward Israel. We are not prepared to tolerate that. Any attempt by Iran to get A foothold on the military side in Syria will be thwarted.”
Lieberman said Israel had no intention of interfering in Syria’s internal affairs. “If (Syrian President Bashar) Assad does not intervene, we think it would be very wise,” Lieberman said.
Lieberman referred to the issue of Iran’s nuclear deal and what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised about Iran’s secret nuclear program and that it deceives the world.
In this regard, Lieberman pointed out that the material received by the Israeli intelligence shows that the Iranian program for the establishment of nuclear weapons at the present time frozen, although the work was previously active.
“The documents stated unequivocally that Iran was actively engaged in uranium enrichment, specifically in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. For a while, they simply froze this program in order to obtain the maximum benefit from the agreement, and then continue to develop A nuclear weapon .. Moreover, they (Iranians) postponed the production of nuclear weapons to make full use of the agreement.”
He pointed out that such Iranian actions, from the Israeli point of view, constitute an unequivocal violation of the comprehensive plan of action on the Iranian nuclear program regardless of whether Iran is currently developing nuclear weapons at the moment or not.
“We are talking in general about the main objective of Iran’s nuclear program: it is not about two, twelve or twenty,” he said.