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Trump, May condemn Iran rocket attacks on Israel - White House

13 May 2018

This phase may not last long and does not mean that the Iranians have any faith in the European Union states keeping the accord alive. Now Israel is feeling squeezed between south and north by the militia associated with Iran.

Israel conducted its biggest raid inside Syria in at least 30 years, saying Iranian forces there fired a barrage of missiles at the Israeli-held section of the Golan Heights.

The subsequent Israeli air strikes killed 23 pro-government fighters in Syria, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The attack on the Golan Heights - an Israeli occupied region of Syria - is the first time Iran has hit Israel from Syria. But the possibility of a war between Israel and Iran is very real.

Tension has been building.

Iran's foreign minister will embark on a diplomatic tour to try to salvage the nuclear deal amid high tensions following the USA withdrawal and global fears over reports of unprecedented clashes with Israel in Syria.

In February, Israel shot down an Iranian drone that entered its airspace, triggering a clash in which an Israeli warplane crashed after being struck by Syrian anti-aircraft fire.

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Mohammad Javad Zarif will leave late Saturday for visits to Beijing, Moscow and Brussels, a spokesman said Friday, holding meetings with all five of the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal.

Frictions between Iran and Israel have escalated in recent months as the war in Syria winds down and parties to the conflict consolidate gains.

"If we get rain, they'll get a flood", Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned.

The special relationship ends with the 1979 revolution that topples the shah, and Israel does not recognize the new Islamic Republic of Iran.

"It´s really annoying that the Iranian government is never blamed for the really bad decisions they have taken lately concerning business, and only the sanctions are blamed", she said.

Iran's feared Savak secret police is created in 1957 with the help of the Central Intelligence Agency and eventually Israel's Mossad.

During the rule of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Iran had close relations with Israel starting in the 1950s, including diplomatic representations and direct flights.

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This chimes with statements by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who refers to Israel as a "cancerous tumor" that should be cut out of the Middle East. Israel is hoping to highlight the fact that Iran's scarce resources are being wasted on foreign military adventures.

He does not wish to see Tehran muscle in, says Hasni Abidi, director of the Study and Research Center for the Arab and Mediterranean World (CERMAM) in Geneva.

But Iran flatly denied the Israeli version of events, saying Israel's attacks were carried out on false "pretexts".

Is the Mideast sliding to an all-encompassing, ruinous war?

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This year, the Iran-Israel war has suddenly come out in to the open, with both sides directly challenging each other on the ground and in the skies above Syria. Israel says its occasional strikes in Syria aim to prevent such an outcome.

"In the end, the size of the US market dwarfs any prospect of any benefit they can get from Iran", Maloney said. Iran already has disproportionate influence in Iraq and has control of Lebanon through the Hezbollah.

For too long, those options were constrained by concerns that the pressure to confront Iran - to stop its support of Assad's slaughter of millions, of the Houthis in Yemen, of the IRGC and Hezbollah's terror - would undermine the nuclear accord. This could in turn lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia also planning a nuclear program unless Iran is kept under check.

US Backs Israel 'Right to Self-Defense'
A few weeks ago, Bolton said of the Syrian conflict: "Iran was thinking of the next possible conflict and we were not". But Tzachi Hanegbi, a cabinet minister close to Netanyahu, cautioned that more confrontation could come.

Trump, May condemn Iran rocket attacks on Israel - White House