Do not test our resolve, Israel warns Iran

MUNICH • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Teheran over aggression by what he called Iran and its "proxies" in Syria, while showing what he claimed was a piece of an Iranian drone shot down in Israeli airspace.

Saying he had "a message to the tyrants of Teheran" during a speech at the Munich Security Conference yesterday , Mr Netanyahu warned: "Do not test Israel's resolve."

He brandished a rectangular piece of dark green metal which he called "a piece of that Iranian drone, or what's left of it, after we shot it down".

Israel has said it shot down the drone on Feb 10, after it entered the country from Syria, and responded with a raid on what it said was the Iranian control systems for the craft in Syria.

Taking the stage shortly after Mr Netanyahu's fiery speech, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif slammed the Israeli leader for staging a "cartoonish circus".

Tensions between the two countries have been building in recent months, with Israel fearing that Iran is trying to establish a permanent presence in Syria as part of an effort to become a greater regional power in the Middle East.

"Through its proxies - Shi'ite militias in Iraq, the Houthis in Yemen, Hizbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza - Iran is devouring huge swathes of the Middle East," said Mr Netanyahu yesterday. "Israel will not allow Iran's regime to put a noose of terror around our neck."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 19, 2018, with the headline 'Do not test our resolve, Israel warns Iran'. Print Edition | Subscribe