Iranian Analyst Says Missiles Aimed at Israel Stopped US Strike of Syria

Did Iran almost attack Israel? Illustrative of Iranian-sponsored attack. Photo Courtesy of IDF Spokesperson.

Did Iran almost attack Israel? Illustrative of Iranian-sponsored attack. Photo Courtesy of IDF Spokesperson.

Iran threatened to unleash thousands of missiles upon Israel three years ago in response to American plans to attack Syria over using chemical weapons, claimed a political analyst that reportedly has connections to the Iranian military. Sadollah Zareyee, who The Daily Beast has closely linked to Iranian armed forces, was recently quoted by the Fars News Agency as saying that the threat is still real today—and includes American targets. The analyst said that missiles from Iran and their terrorist ally Hezbollah “are ready to be fired at the US targets in the Persian Gulf and against the Zionist regime”—a capability he said existed in 2013.

Zareyee said that in 2013, it was not a Russian-brokered deal in which Syria disarmed of its chemical weapons that staved off American plans to strike Syria. Rather, he claimed that US intelligence realized that Iran was ready to launch their missiles. While Iranian media is prone to exaggeration, the aggressive claim may have some truth to it, as Iran’s government did threaten Israel at the time.

As the situation was coming to a head in summer 2013, Fars quoted a senior Iranian parliamentarian as saying a strike on Syria could harm Israel. Director-General of the parliament for International Affairs Hossein Sheikholeslam said that Israel “will be the first victim of a military attack on Syria.”

The US had previously laid out a “red line” regarding chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict, and when reports of use of the weapons of mass destruction appeared credible, so did reports that the US was prepping to intervene. The Daily Telegraph even reported that missile attacks could have been started around the beginning of September 2013, shortly before the Russia-mediated deal with Syria.

If Zareyee’s claims are true, that would highlight the significance that Iran places on its ally the Syrian regime, as it would have risked open war with Israel and the US. It also would underscore the depths Iran is willing to go to achieve their ends, as threatening Israel would have been a shocking degree of collateral damage in Iran’s efforts to fight back against the US.

Hezbollah and Iran have long threatened Israel with their wide-range of missiles, while the Israelis have spent years developing their missile defense systems. Three years ago, a clash between those two forces may almost have been reality.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, November 8, 2016)

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