Column: The smoking drone in Israel
The incident a few weeks ago of an Iranian drone crossing the border from Syria to Israel is a direct result of the flawed nuclear deal with Iran — and there is a smoking drone to prove it.
While Iran has always called for the destruction of Israel, the nuclear deal gave them capability and proximity to be one step closer to their goal.
The main advantage that Iran extracted from this deal was the lifting of economic sanctions. This step enriched the ayatollah’s regime with billions of dollars, adding more fuel to their radical operations.
Unfortunately, instead of using this money to stabilize their economy, they used it to destabilize the Middle East. This money allowed Iran to expand extraterritorial operations. Once the sanctions were lifted billions of dollars floated in to Iran and found their way to further arming terror proxies such as Hezbollah with cutting edge weapons and technology.
The global legitimacy Iran gained after the agreement was signed created an extremely negative regional superpower confident enough to execute their radical agenda and proliferate terror. These new assets, enormous funds and increased confidence, equipped Iran with the capability to test Israel’s border.
Secondly, Iran gained the ability to act almost freely in Syria, which gave them close proximity to Israel’s northern border. Iran could grow its terror geographically because the world’s eyes were focused only on their nuclear aspirations.
This expansion not only included Iran’s development of military bases in Syria, but also other strategic destinations in the Middle East from Iran through Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon--all the way to the Mediterranean. Iran has no intention of leaving these posts because the sole purpose of their expansion is to boost and advance their terrorist ambitions.
This proximity and the increased capability are a direct result of the nuclear deal, and the immediate symptom is the drone incident. It’s the first, but most likely not the last, attempt to test the red lines of Israel and other countries. These components, coupled with Iran’s defiance of four U.S Security Council resolutions, are increasing the chance of a regional war.
Separating Iran’s nuclear capabilities through means like the flawed nuclear deal from its growing extremist influence is dangerous. A regime that is perpetrating human rights abuses daily, hanging gays, killing protesters, and jailing journalists cannot be allowed to magnify their terror throughout the Middle East. The world cannot and should not allow the world’s foremost terrorist regime to continue proliferating terrorism and we cannot disconnect their radical influence from the nuclear agreement. The smoking drone is just the beginning of the repercussions of the nuclear deal. Either fix it or nix it.
Aviv Ezra is consul general of Israel to the Midwest.