Iran, Israel tensions hit new high

While the Israeli government rarely confirms its involvement on Syrian soil, Israel was blamed for missile strikes and bombings which killed at least 40 Syrian and Iranian soldiers last month, as well as for firing missiles that killed nine people near Damascus earlier this week.

Iran's hardliners are already mobilising against any concessions to Europe, with hundreds protesting in Tehran after Friday prayers, saying it was time to abandon the deal. "Get rid of the Iranians and we can, perhaps, change our mode of life here", he said.

The turning point between the Israel-Syrian confrontation appeared in February, when the Syrian army said it shot down an Israeli F-16 fighter jet, which targeted an air base in the central province of Homs on the pretext that an Iranian drone was sent from the base and infiltrated the Israeli airspace.

Russian Federation is not in talks with the Syrian government about supplying advanced S-300 ground-to-air missiles and does not think they are needed, the Izvestia daily cited a top Kremlin aide as saying yesterday, in an apparent U-turn by Moscow.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a sharp critic of the Iran nuclear deal.

Iran says it had drawn up a plan to overcome the effects of Washington withdrawing, with budgets being reconfigured accordingly.

Iran condemned the Israeli air raid on Friday and said Syria had the right to defend itself against Israeli aggression.

Israel had been preparing itself for weeks for possible Iranian retaliation.

What does the nuclear deal have to do with rising tensions?

He said that cities in Israel will be destroyed if the country acts foolishly.

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"Since the signing of the JCPOA (nuclear deal), we have gone from an atmosphere like a gold rush, to one of utter depression", said a Western trade diplomat on condition of anonymity. "He wrote: 'I spent $7 trillion and you must do something in return.' The U.S. wants to own humiliated slaves".

Construction Minister Yoav Gallant, a member of the security cabinet, said on Saturday that Israel "must strike while the iron is hot", and that there was now "an opportunity to uproot Iran from Syria".

It feels like a long way from July 2015 when - after more than a decade of painstaking diplomacy - the nuclear deal was finalised by the US, France, Britain, Germany, Russia, China and Iran.

She added that the US can not undo the agreement by pulling out, saying: "this deal is not a bilateral treaty".

Meanwhile, the Syrian government accuses Israel of aiding the rebels in southern Syria close to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, backed by video footage emerging about how Israel is offering medical treatment to the rebels.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke Friday and underlined their aim of preserving the deal and peace in the Mideast.

"We are waiting now for how the decision-makers in the European Union will react".

Le Maire proposed creating a European body that would have the same kind of powers that the U.S. Justice Department has to punish foreign companies for their trade practices.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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