President Barack Obama missed the point when he warned the 22 Jewish leaders he invited to the White House Tuesday, Aug. 3, that if Congress strikes down the Iranian nuclear deal, …”Hizballah rockets will rain down on Tell Aviv” – not on New York – and that Iran would… “arm and land proxies on Israel’s borders.”
Both these menaces have been fully active for years, and never related to any kind of nuclear diplomacy.
For nine years, from the 2006 Lebanese war and up to the July 2014 Gaza operation, missiles and rockets supplied by Iran have repeatedly rained down on Israeli population centers.
As time went by, the missiles became more precise and sophisticated. Terrorist attacks staged by Hizballah at Tehran’s behest are not unknown either.
Therefore, Obama’s warning to the Jewish leaders does not stand up to the test of logic or reliable intelligence.
Furthermore, as the president spoke, the contention that the nuclear accord will keep Israel and the Middle East at large safe, including from the danger of missiles, was belied.
debkafile’s military sources report that, at that very moment on Aug. 3, Hizballah units under the command of Iranian officers were firing heavy Iranian Zelzal 3 surface missiles at Syrian rebels barricaded for more than a month in the Syrian town of Zabadani, just 200km from Tel Aviv and even less, 140km, from Israel’s heavy industrial town of Haifa.
Zelzal, a proud product of Iran’s munitions industry, has an optimal range of 200km, which can be extended to 250km, by reducing its payload from 600 to 500 kg.
Israel is familiar with the deadly capabilities of the Zelzal, because it was fired by Hamas on Nov. 20, 2012 the last day of the last Gaza operation. It exploded and razed a whole built-up street in Rishon Letzion, a town situated 14 km south of Tel Aviv and 9.3 km from Israel’s only international airport at Lod.
On Jan 18, this year, Israel’s air force struck a group of Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Hizballah officers as they prepared to set up military quarters and missile pads on the Syrian Golan within shouting distance of IDF border defenses.
The above partial catalogue of Iranian and Hizballah aggression was perpetrated alongside negotiations in Geneva and Vienna for a comprehensive nuclear accord with Tehran.
It is therefore obvious that Israel faces an Iranian-Hizballah missile threat today, as it did yesterday, and probably also tomorrow, regardless of whether the US Congress endorses or throws out President Obama’s nuclear deal with Tehran.
He might have made a difference to this grim reality if US negotiators had stipulated that the deal include the lifting of the Iranian missile peril hanging over Israel and that Tehran’s waive its standing threat to destroy the Jewish state. But as things stand now, this particular argument in support of his nuclear deal with Iran is an irrelevancy.