State Department rejects call for Iran deal to affirm Israel's 'right to exist'
A State Department official dismissed a plea Friday from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Iran nuclear agreement include clear recognition
Israel on edge as Hezbollah, Iran move on Golan Heights
Launched on Feb. 9, the offensive is intended to push rebel forces in the Quneitra and Deraa provinces back toward the Jordanian border. If it succeeds, the effort would enable Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Shia group, to extend its front line with Israel from the Mediterranean coast to the Yarmouk River on the Syria-Jordan border, a distance of 114 miles. But Israel has warned that it will not tolerate Iran and Hezbollah building a military front in the Golan, its quietest border since the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, despite the ongoing Israeli occupation of the Syrian territory. In an apparent signal of that resolve, Israel last month staged a rare missile strike against a Hezbollah convoy in the Golan.
“It seems the old equation is changing,” said Andrew Tabler, a Syria expert with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Washington, D.C. “Since 1973, Syria kept the Golan quiet while activating south Lebanon with Iranian help. Now the Iranians and Hezbollah have quieted south Lebanon and are activating the Golan front under the cover of the Syrian war.”