The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Iran Condemns Israeli Strike in Syria, Accelerates Nuclear Program

Just hours after Israeli jets attacked either a convoy of trucks carrying weapons to Hezbollah or a scientific research facility outside Damascus (depending on whom you ask), Iran’s foreign minister blasted Israel, saying “There is no doubt that this aggression is part of a Western and Zionist strategy to push aside the success of the Syrian people and government to return to stability and security.”

The attack underscores the ”alignment of [Syrian] terrorist groups with the Zionists’ objectives,” he added, according to the Daily Star of Lebanon.

Separately, Iranian officials acknowledged to the IAEA that Iran plans to significantly accelerate its nuclear program at a vital enrichment plant in Natanz: “The upgrade could speed up enrichment by as much as two or three times,” reports the NYT.

Before launching the attack inside Syria, Israel moved at least two of its Iron Dome missile systems to the northern part of the country near Syria to protect Haifa, Israel’s third largest city.

The raid was roundly condemned by Iran, its allies Hezbollah and Syria, and Russia. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian was quoted by Fars News saying Israel’s raid will have significant consequences for Tel Aviv.

Israel’s intelligence chief Major-General Aiv Kochavi arrived in Washington two days ago for private, face-to-face talks with the Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon. No doubt they have much to discuss.

Published on January 31, 2013 9:15 am