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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Iran influencing elections in Egypt, putting down revolt in Syria

Military Intelligence Chief Aviv Kochavi briefed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday, and told the panel that Iran's tentacles extend throughout the Middle East.
“Iraq is attempting to influence the political process in Egypt through efforts to connect with the Muslim Brotherhood,” Kochavi said.

Kochavi also said that the Muslim Brotherhood is pressing for elections in Egypt to take place as soon as possible, because it is "the only group that's ready for elections."

"The international community is trying to delay the vote so more moderate groups can be better organized," he explained.

In the meantime, the Egyptian army is losing control of the Sinai, according to Kochavi.

The IDF intelligence chief also reported that Iran will be able to produce a nuclear explosive within two years.

"Iran recovered from the last wave of sanctions, even though the international consensus surprised them," Kochavi said.

He also emphasized Iranian influence throughout the region, including Turkey.

"We see closer relations between Iran and Turkey, which are focused mostly on trade, but also include military matters," he said.

“Iran is taking advantage of the upheaval in the Middle East to deepen their infiltration into states and organizations in the region,” he added, saying that the Islamic Republic is working in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Bahrain, Sudan, Yemen, Iraq and Gaza.

"As Iran continues to work on its nuclear project, it works to transfer weapons and instill radical Islamic ideologies throughout the Middle East," Kochavi explained.

In addition "the potential for a cyber-attack is growing, and will eventually be a greater threat than Iran's other weapons."

Kochavi also said that Iran was active in planning the “Nakba” and “Naksa” day demonstrations and border crossings from Lebanon.

“Iran is making efforts to ensure that such events will continue,” he explained, "but they were disappointed that [the border crossings] were not more successful."

"Iran and Hezbollah are actively helping the Syrian regime in oppressing protesters," Kochavi said. "They are transferring means for dispersing demonstrations, knowledge and technical aid."

"They are motivated to help due to their deep fear of the demonstrations' implications, especially losing their partnership with the Syrians and a trickling of protests into their territory," he explained.
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