This week, I appeared on the Voice of America’s Persian news program (video below, for Farsi speakers only!). The program is broadcast directly to Iran, as well as live on the internet.
The Iranian government seeks to block this program, though VOA changes around its frequency to try and get around the regime’s censorship.
On the show, I was asked about Iran’s project to arm Hezbollah, through the mass trafficking of rockets and missiles, and the appearance of two Iranian missile factories on Lebanese soil.
I provided my assessment on the growth of Iran’s influence in Lebanon; Tehran runs the country via Hezbollah, and has turned it into one big military/missile base.
In Syria, Iran manages the ground war against Sunni rebels, and is tightening its grip as well. With the help of Russia’s air force, tens of thousands of Shi’ite militia members are winning in Syria, under Iranian command.
All of this means that Iran is pushing ahead with its regional program to seize control of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, and to join them up into a single sphere of fundamentalist Shi’ite influence.
From there, Iran plans to use this territory to orchestrate attacks on Israel, Jordan, and anyone else who the regime might choose to target, like rival Sunni states.
Israel has said that it will not sit idly by and let this happen. My 2 main messages on the program were:
- Iran’s spread in Syria, and Hezbollah’s arms build up, are the number 1 strategic problem as far as the Israeli defense establishment is concerned.
- Israel’s entire goal in dealing with these issues is defensive. Israel has nothing against the Iranian people, and no aggressive designs towards Iran. Israel’s own military build up, and its reported work to disrupt the Iranians arms flow, are all in the name of self-defense.