Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that Iranian expansionism in the Middle East is a serious threat to the entire world.
“There are over 80,000 extremists from all over the Middle East who are members of Shia militias in Syria under Iranian control,” Danon told the UNSC.
Danon illustrated his point with a satellite photo of an Iranian base in Syria.
“What you see here in this image is Iran’s central induction and recruitment center in Syria,” Danon said. The Israeli ambassador claimed that the center was used to train tens of thousands of fighters. ““It is at this base, just over five miles from Damascus, where these dangerous extremists are trained and then assigned their missions of terror throughout Syria and the region.”
“We are presenting this image to the world so you can understand the depth of Iran’s involvement in Syria,” Danon explained to the council.” It is at this base, just over 5 miles from Damascus, where these dangerous extremists are trained and then assigned their missions of terror throughout Syria and the region.”
Danon referred to an incident in February in which a drone that crossed over from Syria into Israel was shot down by the Israeli Air Force. He told the council that Israel had “conclusive evidence” that the drone was an Iranian Shihad-129 armed with missiles.
“[There] is no doubt that this device was intended to attack Israel,” he said.
Danon also praised an initiative by US President Trump to revise the nuclear deal signed with Iran. Trump has given the European nations signed on the deal until May 12 to negotiate revisions that will limit Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program and ensure greater checks on their nuclear program. Iran considers the deal to be to their advantage and threatened to re-initiate their nuclear weapons program if the US pulls out of the deal.
“In just two-and-a-half weeks, the United States will announce its important decision regarding the fate of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. [US President Donald] Trump is focused on these important changes because he knows it will make the world safer,” Danon said. “All the signatories of this agreement must now make a choice. Do you support these necessary changes? Or will you choose to enable the Iranian regime that supports terror and is attempting to take over the Middle East?”
“Israel has a very clear policy, and it has been so since the administration of prime minister Menachem Begin. We will not allow regimes that seek our destruction to acquire nuclear weapons. Period,” Danon said emphatically.
Prior to Danon’s address, PLO Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour addressed the UNSC, criticizing Israel’s reaction to Palestinian protests along the security fence separating Israel from Hamas-run Gaza. Palestinian sources have reported approximately 40 killed in the Hamas-led violence.
Danon responded to Mansour at the end of his address.
“Israel has an obligation to protect our citizens and we will do so while minimizing civilian casualties to the other side but let me be clear: Israel will never apologize for defending our country,” Danon said. “It is Hamas that is fully responsible for every Palestinian injury and death that has resulted from these incidents.”