Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L) looks on as Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal speaks during an official meeting in Tehran, in this file picture taken February 27, 2010. Reuters/ via Reuters/Files

Reuters: Iran's allies, not atoms, preoccupy Israeli generals

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thunders against a possible nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, his defense chiefs see Tehran's guerrilla allies as a more pressing menace.

Chief among these is Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia that fought the Israeli armed forces to a standstill in their 2006 war and has since expanded its arsenal and honed its skills helping Damascus battle the Syria insurgency.

Ram Ben-Barak, director-general of Israel's Intelligence Ministry, accused Iran on Tuesday of "seeking footholds" from Syria to Yemen to Egypt's Sinai and the Palestinian territories. But he deemed Hezbollah a foe as formidable as the conventional Arab armies that fought Israel in the 1967 and 1973 wars.

WNU Editor: These concerns are justified .... the threat from Iran's allies are short term and (because they are on or near the borders of Israel) can be immediate. Iran's nuclear program is a medium to long term threat .... with no guarantee of success. I also doubt that Iran would openly go to war against Israel .... using surrogates like Hezbollah are more in line with Iran's war strategy against Israel than directly deploying their own forces in regime friendly Syria or Hezbollah controlled territory in Lebanon. I guess that is why Israel is concerned on the lifting of Iranian sanctions .... billions of additional funds for Iran would mean more monies and resources for those groups who are at war with Israel and/or who have plans to be at war in the future..

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