The Shadow War Between Israel and Iran Takes Center Stage

There’s a price to be paid for threatening Israel’ – defense minister warns Iran as tensions flare

Israel's former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman

Russia's ambassador to Israel on Wednesday played down tensions between the countries over Israeli attacks in Syria, saying they were not the reason for Moscow's proposed supply of an advanced air defense system to Damascus.

USA and Israeli intelligence officials are concerned over a number of cargo flights that have flown from Iran to Syria in recent weeks, CNN reported on Wednesday.

Americans are concerned about the prospects that future air attacks of Israel will be met with new defenses.

Israel carried out strikes on targets in Syria after an explosives-laden drone was flown into Israeli airspace on February 10.

"The attack was a blatant violation of worldwide law which would strengthen terrorists", Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said at the time.

The agreement allowed Iran to pursue a nuclear energy program - for strictly civilian use - in return for the lifting of longstanding western sanctions.

Iran insists it never meant to build a nuclear weapon.

The latest limited clash between Israel and Syria comes in the wake of a threat against Israel by Iran, the patron of Syria's ruler Bashar al-Assad. In April, Tehran slammed Israel for hitting a Syrian base, reportedly killing seven Iranians.

The head of the USA military's Central Command (CENTCOM), Gen. Joseph Votel, arrived in Israel Monday night for an unannounced visit, according to Israeli media.

He accuses the US of not sticking to its end of the bargain and says Trump is "dissuading European companies from engaging in Iran by threatening them with consequences for their cooperation with Iran".

Zarif also called for an end to the conflict in Yemen, which has seen Iran and Saudi Arabia supporting opposite sides in a bloody civil war that has dragged on for three years.

"The entity that gives itself the right to attack the sovereignty of another country and to target forces fighting terrorism must certainly have thought about the results and consequences of that attack and the corresponding reaction", Ali Shamkhani told reporters.

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