Thursday, January 3, 2013
Report: Iran’s Military Capability “Dramatically” Reduced by Conflict in Syria
According to a report in Israeli daily Maariv, Israeli diplomats meeting in Jerusalem were told by Defense Ministry intelligence officials that the weakening of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has taken its toll on Iran militarily.
The officials said that neither Syria nor Hezbollah have the capability to start a war with Israel and would be largely unable to respond on behalf of Iran in the event of an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Hezbollah would need direct aid from Iran to be capable of fighting Israel as it did in 2006, the officials said, but Iran was likely not to do so, because such a move would likely bring the U.S. and Europe directly into the conflict. Hezbollah recognizes its weakened position, the officials said, and was unlikely to provoke Israel into a massive invasion of Lebanon.
Addressing relations with Egypt, the officials believe that Cairo would reign-in Hamas because the country is broke and can’t alienate the West, which it is relying on for financial aid.
A senior official in Jerusalem summed things up, saying, “Our strategic position in the region has greatly improved, both in the northern region and in the south.”