“Iranian threat is still considered as Israel’s principal concern”, a top Israeli Defense Forces General has maintained, adding that one of the reasons behind the concern is the fact that “They [Iranians] are very similar to us [Israelis]”.
During a speech at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, on Friday, September 8, Major General Yair Golan said Israel should prepare for a direct confrontation with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Golan who served as IDF’s former deputy chief of staff admitted that “Israel cannot fight Iran alone”.
Israel has recently raised the alarm over increased activity by the Lebanese Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy, and other Iranian-backed militias, on Israel’s border with Syria.
According to the Israeli media, Maj. Gen. Golan who was speaking at a security conference in Washington, reiterated that Iranians close similarity to the Israelis make them “much more dangerous for Israel”.
Citing Gen. Golan, the Israeli website Ynetnews said, “They [Iranians] are a higher form of civilization. They have nice, academic infrastructure, impressive industry, good scientists and many talented young people. They are very similar to us, and because they are similar to us they are much, much more dangerous. And we can’t cope with them alone.”
Israeli news website, Walla! has also quoted Maj. Gen. Golan as saying, “Formulating a strategic policy for confronting Iran is a necessity” since the possibility of a “direct confrontation with Iran cannot be ignored”.
General Golan has also stressed that a direct confrontation between Israel and Iran will be costly for both sides, “They can affect us; we can affect them. It’s all about attrition. But if you want to gain something which is deeper, we cannot do it alone. This is a fact of life. It’s better to admit that.”
Referring to Israel’s alliance with the U.S., the IDF’s former deputy chief of staff has stressed that American assistance is very important for Israel to the extent that “In order to achieve victory over Iran in any possible future military showdown, American help would be essential”.
The Times of Israel believes that General Golan was referring to the possibility of an airstrike against Iran, “Israel in the past has reportedly considered strikes against Iran’s nuclear program, an idea that officials in Washington and Jerusalem both have said Israel would need help with to carry out effectively”.
According to the DefenseNews, Golan also told his listeners that Israel had to ready itself to lock horns with Iran.
“We cannot allow ourselves not to prepare for direct confrontation with Iran,” he said. “We don’t have expeditionary forces. There is no Marine Corps in Israel … this is beyond our capabilities. So, what should we have? That’s a big question. That’s the classified part.”
In the same speech, Gen. Golan once again accentuated on the gravity of Iran’s threat by comparing it with Islamic State (IS), “For decades, we’ve dealt with ISIS-style terrorism. I don’t say it’s not a problem. But we managed to live with that. … They are primitive and with relatively limited capabilities. Yes, they have their determination and they are dangerous. But, when looking at the Iranian threat, it’s much more dangerous compared to the ISIS threat.”
While describing General Golan’s remarks as an “unusual statement”, Jerusalem Online (JOL) has highlighted some other part of his remarks. “Just look at how they [Iranians] are operating in the region,” Golan added, “They work in a very clever way, always trying to invest as little as possible. And if they have to, they prefer to invest money over blood. For blood, they use their affiliates.”
In his speech, the Israeli General did not miss the chance to caution his American hosts, “In today’s world, where threats spread quickly to every corner of the world via the internet, terror cells, streams of refugees – our cooperation [with the US] must be tighter than ever”.
According to the “Times of Israel”, Golan’s speech came hours after a reported Israeli airstrike on a Syrian missile base that many saw as a message to Iran, Russia and other countries acting in Syria that Israel was willing to act to protect its interests.
Last week, Iran’s Chief of Staff, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri warned that any attack on Iran would lead to a broader regional conflagration.
“If [the enemies of Iran] decide to launch war, certainly they will not decide about the time and place for its end,” he said, according to the Fars news agency.