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'Iran trying to dock submarines in Syria's Mediterranean ports': Netanyahu Open in fullscreen

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'Iran trying to dock submarines in Syria's Mediterranean ports': Netanyahu

Binyamin Netanyahu has made a new warning about Iran influence [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 November, 2017

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Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has accused Iran of seeking Syria's naval ports to base submarines.
Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has claimed Iran is attempting to use the ports of regional ally Syria to dock submarines in Mediterranean waters.

Netanyahu told the BBC on Sunday that Iran is seeking to use its close ties with the Syrian regime to threaten Israel with military vessels and aircraft close to its border.

"As [the Islamic State group] collapses, as IS moves out, Iran moves in, but they want to bring their air force there, right next to Israel," he said on The Andrew Marr Show.

"They want to bring Shia and Iranian divisions right next to Israel, they want to bring submarines and military vessels into the Mediterranean, right next to Israel. So we will not let that happen; we will resist it."

He said that the war in Syria had allowed Iran to cement its influence in the region, with Tehran sending thousands of Shia militia fighters and Revolutionary Guards troops to fight in Syria and Iraq.

"[Iran] is seeking to colonise Syria for that purpose - that is, to 'Lebanonise' Syria. What they did in Lebanon that Prime Minister [Saad] Hariri resigned over is basically took over the country... The same thing is being done in Syria."

These new strategic interests has given Iran unprecedented access to states neighbouring Israel and presents a new military threat to Tel Aviv, he claimed.

"You know, the more we're prepared to stop it, the less likely we'll have to resort to much greater things. There is a principle I very much adhere to, which is to nip bad things in the bud," he warned.

It echoes similar claims made by Netanyahu at London's Chatham House on Friday.

Iran is known to have three "Kilo class" Russian submarines and a number of smaller vessels including midget subs.

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