06:18 GMT +314 December 2018
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    Avigdor Lieberman speaks during a press conference after meeting with his German counterpart on June 30, 2014 in Berlin.

    Israeli MoD: Iran Has No Military Presence in Syria

    © AFP 2018 / Wolfgang Kumm
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    Trilateral relations between Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel has witnessed several clashes over the recent years and their relations are deteriorating.

    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) — Iran does not have a military presence in Syria now and Israel's goal is to prevent its appearance in the country, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday.

    "There are no [Iranians] in Syria, contrary to what is being said. Yes, there is a pool of experts, advisers and so one there. Iran has not been present in Syria so far and our main goal is to prevent [Iran] from being present as a real military force," Lieberman said in an interview with Russian-language Channel 9, an Israel broadcaster, adding that Iran had not managed to establish its own military bases in Syria.

    READ MORE: They Both Hate Iran': Why Israel and Saudi Arabia Are Getting Very Cozy

    "Iran wanted to set up its own ports, sea and airports, military bases next to Russia. They have not managed to do that either," Lieberman said.

    Iran has been accused by Israel on numerous occasions of delivering weapons to terrorist organizations and of attempts to use the Syrian conflict in order to further establish itself in the region and turn Syria into an enemy state for Israel. In particular, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Iran's actions in the region posed a threat not only to the Middle Eastern region but to the whole world and pledged to respond to these actions by all possible means, including the ones based on the use of force.

    Saudi Arabia has long had a difficult relationship with Shia Iran but a full-blown power struggle has developed between the two in recent months.  

    Meanwhile, Iran and Saudi Arabia have clashed recently over Lebanon and Tehran has also been accused of supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen.

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    military presence, military base, Avigdor Lieberman, Iran, Israel, Syria
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