Iran vows to restart nuclear program if deal collapses

Iran vows to restart nuclear program if deal collapses

Germany, France and Britain want talks to be held in a broader format on Iran's ballistic missile programme and its regional activities - including in Syria and Yemen.

They came after 20 rockets were fired at Israeli military positions in the occupied Golan Heights. Israel responded with a blistering wave of missile strikes early Thursday.

The relationship between Israel and Iran regime is full of tension and has been for years.

"It is clear that last night's incidents are part of a new context in the Middle East, where what we feared happening is becoming reality: the Syrian and Iranian issues are becoming intertwined", Le Drian told BFM TV.

The incident came after weeks of rising tensions and followed US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from a key 2015 Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, a move Israel had long advocated. Tehran has also intensified its involvement in Iraq and Lebanon. Iran ended up losing more than 50 military targets, and Israel's message to Iran-to exit Syria immediately-received a powerful boost. Thousands of militiamen armed, trained and financed by Iran have also been battling rebel forces alongside Syrian soldiers, reports say.

"We hit almost all the Iranian infrastructure in Syria", said Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, in a rare Israeli acknowledgement of strikes in Syria. An Israeli warplane was shot down during the battle.

Despite an global alert to prevent a Tel Aviv-Tehran crisis from worsening hours after Israel's unprecedented missile attacks, the Iranian government and Interior Ministry were silent regarding reports that dozens of Iranian positions were hit in Syria. "The extent to which we can keep this deal something we need to discuss with Iran", said Merkel, who earlier spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Qassemi said the terror groups were in fact "proxies" waging war on behalf of the US, Israel and their regional allies.

Danny Danon, Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, sent letters to the Security Council and the secretary-general calling for condemnation of "Iran's acts of aggression".

Israel and its United States ally believe the Lebanese Shiite militia is amassing weapons on Lebanon's southern border in preparation for a new war after a deadly conflict with Israel in 2006.

So far, Hezbollah has kept out of this conflict, and this is welcome news. An IDF investigation revealed the Iranian drone, sent from the Iran-run T-4 airbase in Syria, was carrying explosives and seemingly deployed to attack an Israeli target.

Israel has repeatedly targeted weapons shipments destined for Hezbollah, taking advantage of the group's thinly-spread fighters preoccupied by the war in Syria. "Whoever tries to hurt us, we will act to hurt him beforehand", said Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister.

"Russia is not happy with Iran gaining too much power, too much influence there", he said.

"For the first time, Iran has the chance to show the world they are not the rogue nation they are always presented as, that they negotiated in good faith and keep to their commitments", said Karim Emile Bitar, of the Institute for global and Strategic Affairs in Paris. Iran does not deny this alignment but notes that it is necessary to curb the threat that they claim Israel is to the region.

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