VIDEO - Israel must sever the alliance between Tehran and Damascus within the next year, senior Defense Ministry official Amos Gilad said Sunday evening during a session of the Herzliya Conference. "Israel must uproot the Iran-Syria alliance, either by diplomacy or through military means, within the next year," said Gilad, the director of the Defense Ministry's Political-Military Bureau. He added that the alliance between the two countries was based purely on common interests, and that "the Iranians do not like the Syrian regime." Outlining Syria's capabilities, Amos said Damascus could "bring down the Lebanese government, and destroy the legitimacy of international forces. Syria can and does support Hamas and Islamic Jihad with weapons and finances, and can collapse the Palestinian Authority," he added, saying such factors meant that Syria's union with Iran must be severed. Gilad said Arab Sunni states had reached a point of "deep fear" of Iran, and have begun talking about creating their own nuclear programs to counter the Iranian threat. "In the Middle East, when you start talking, you don't know where it can lead," he said, adding that Israel was faced with an ideal opportunity to form an alliance with Egypt, Jordan, and other Sunni Arab states to confront Iran. 'Iran may make dramatic announcement in 2 months' "It seems we have two, three, maybe four years until Iran has nuclear weapons," Gilad said, adding that in two months, there may be an attempt by (Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad to gain a psychological edge. "The Iranians could declare that they have ability to produce nuclear weapons in two months," Gilad predicted. Under Iran's nuclear umbrella, Hizbullah is being rearmed and is growing in strength, and is attempting to be a stronger "entity than its host," Amos warned, adding that Iran was also backing Hamas' growth as a terrorist entity. Gilad said one of the lessons of the second Lebanon war was that such growth cannot be passively watched, and counseled "military action" against Hamas and Hizbullah. "We must not allow them to get stronger," he added. Sounding a positive note, Gilad said Israel has an excellent opportunity to form a closer relationship with Sunni Arab states, had a strong alliance with Turkey, India, and the United States. He added, however, that "for the first time, the Iranian threat must shape our policies."