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Iran is Mossad’s top priority: Spy agency chief

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen (File photo)

The Israeli spy agency, Mossad, says that Iran is its number one priority, citing Tehran's nuclear and missile defense programs.

Addressing agents, the spy agency's chief Yossi Cohen said the Islamic Republic is "at the top of the Mossad’s work priorities."

"All Iranian nuclear, long-range missile and precision missile activities," as well as its regional role "are a challenge to the security of" Israel, he added.

The remarks came one day after Israeli military chief of staff Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi said Tel Aviv is preparing for “limited confrontation" with Tehran.

“There is a possibility that we will face a limited confrontation with Iran and we are preparing for it,” he said, stressing that it would have been better had Israel not been the only one engaged in the anti-Iran campaign.

“We will not allow Iran to entrench itself in Syria, or in Iraq,” he added.

Over the past years, Iran has been offering military advisory support to Syria and Iraq in order to help them fight terrorism. The aid has been provided at the request of both Damascus and Baghdad governments.  

Israel, on the other hand, frequently attacks military targets inside Syria and Iraq in what is considered an attempt to prop up foreign-backed Takfiri terrorist groups that have been suffering heavy defeats against government forces.

In recent weeks, Israeli officials have for several times threatened Iran in what seems to be a provocative move meant to win Washington's support at a time that the US is pulling out of the Middle East.

American troops' withdrawal has raised concerns among Israeli officials, who feel being left alone in the region with anger boiling over Tel Aviv's occupation of Palestinian lands.

Earlier this month, Israeli minister of military affairs warned Iran against its presence in Syria.

"It is no secret that Iran is trying to establish a ring of fire around" Israel, Naftali Bennett claimed.

Iran "is already based in Lebanon and is trying to establish in Syria, Gaza and more," he argued."We need to move from containment to attack. We say to Iran: Syria will become your Vietnam."

His comments came a day after foreign minister Israel Katz threatened a military operation against Iran with the help of the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 

"Is bombing Iran an option that Israel is considering?" Katz was asked by Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper.

"Yes, it is an option. We will not allow Iran to produce or obtain nuclear weapons. If it were the last possible way to stop this, we would act militarily," he replied.

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