The head of Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad, has said the country is keeping close tabs on Iran.
“We have eyes and ears and more, even in Iran,” Yossi Cohen told a Finance Ministry convention in Jerusalem on January 9.
Cohen said he believes the current protests in Iran are unlikely to trigger a revolution and warned that massive Iranian-backed forces were “galloping into the Middle East without hindrance” to spread the country’s vision of Islam.
“Iranian citizens went out to demonstrate because of the economic situation and the expectation that President Hassan Rouhani would improve the economy,” The Times Of Israel quoted Cohen as saying. “That’s what brought them out on the streets. There’s no need for great expectations, even though I would be very happy to see a social revolution in Iran. Maybe it will happen in the future.”
According to Haaretz, Cohen said, “The protesters are faced with opposing forces, but one must temper expectations.”
He blamed Rouhani for being unable to address people’s demands. "The Iranian citizen is crying out against the disappointing economic situation. President Rouhani, in the public's opinion, hasn't been successful at improving the state of the economy and the society," he said, adding that "a revolution might happen tomorrow or in the future -- but they are facing forces that are no less than death squads against anybody who tries to raise their head in Iran."
Cohen then warned that "the Iranians are coasting into the Middle East undisturbed and with very large forces, in a way that virtually creates an air and land corridor that pours fighters into the region in order to actualize the Iranian vision.”
The Mossad chief finished by commenting on Israel's relationship with the United States. "Our cooperation with the U.S. is exceptionally good, and it is only getting better. The U.S., over the past year, has been changing its policies, and we are beginning to see dramatic changes in the American understanding of strategic threats," he said according to the Jerusalem Post.
"We're seeing a positive shift, one that could possibly take more of Israel's security interests into account," Cohen continued. "The well-being of the entire world is threatened in the shadow of Iran's dramatically extremist ambitions and that it has the ability and the will to employ terror forces. For us, this is a positive change."
In a meeting with NATO ambassadors, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We are absolutely committed to preventing Iran from forming such a base, a military base in Syria, and we back our words with action.” He went on to warn that if Iran were to achieve its goals that would also threaten Europe as it would lead to a new wave of refugees flooding the Continent.
“If Iran realizes its goal of bringing in 100,000 Shi’ite fighters into Iran … you’ll have the son of ISIS and the grandson of Al-Qaeda that will be fighting [for] this new Shi’ite force. Where will the spillover happen? In Europe. Where will the human flow go? To Europe,” Netanyahu said.