13:15 GMT28 September 2020
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    A senior Iranian politician has responded to an Israeli minister's warning that Tel Aviv may assassinate the Syrian president if he continues to "allow Iran to operate" in his country.

    Speaking to Sputnik about Israeli energy minister Yuval Steinitz's comments, Iranian lawmaker Adolfazl Hassanbeigi said that the Israelis were incapable of following through with their threats.

    "Israel can't do anything; they are incapable of accomplishing this," the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission member stressed.

    Hassanbeigi added that Iran's "presence in Syria in an advisory capacity is legal and takes place at the request of the Syrian government."

    Earlier on Monday, Yuval Steinitz warned that Tel Aviv would eliminate President Bashar Assad if the alleged Iranian presence in his country continues. "If Assad lets Iran turn Syria into a military base against us, to attack us from Syrian territory, he should know that this will be the end of him," he claimed.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps of sending advanced weaponry to Syria, including drones, air defense systems and surface-to-surface missiles. Israel stepped up its airstrikes against what it claims are Iranian-affiliated targets in Syria last month and has accused Tehran of trying to turn Syria into a hostile bridgehead against Tel Aviv. On Sunday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova highlighted Iran's important role in the fight against terrorism.

    Netanyahu said he would discuss Iran's presence in Syria during his planned visit to Russia on Wednesday.

    Damascus has welcomed Iranian and Russian support in its long war against a ragtag collection of armed militias and terrorist groups. At the same time, the Syrian government has accused Israel, Turkey, the US and France of repeatedly violating its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    Adolfazl Hassanbeigi, Bashar al-Assad, Yuval Steinitz, Iran, Israel, Syria
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