Senior army officer says Islamic republic is spending up to $5 million on regional terror groups.
A senior Israel Defense Forces officer says Iran remains at the top of the army’s priority list, despite last week’s nuclear agreement between the Islamic republic and world powers.
While asserting that there is a change in the region that cannot be ignored, the officer said the army’s working assumption is that even after signing the agreement – which is supposed to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear-weapons breakout capability – the Iranian military will still attempt to operate on the issue through secret channels.
“It would be correct to assume that – and the understanding is that, even after the agreement, there is no disputing the Iranian vision of obtaining nuclear capability in the future,” said the officer. “Iran will continue to be Mission No. 1 in the upcoming multiyear plan.”
As a result, the IDF will focus mainly on collecting intelligence about any Iranian progress in the nuclear project, and trying to identify violations of its obligations toward the world powers. Moreover, the IDF will likely not withdraw its operational plans and will maintain its aerial order of battle as a possible response to the Iranian threat.
IDF officials also expect the nuclear deal to affect Iranian operations in the region. Officials say Iran is currently spending between $4 billion and $5 billion in regional terrorist organizations, via armaments, advisers or training. The lifting of sanctions, which is sure to improve Iran’s economy, will bring increased Iranian influence on the Middle East and the funding of terror, they believe.
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