Mossad Director Yossi Cohen warned of Iranian expansionist aspirations in the Middle East in a rare public speech on Monday.
One of Israel's main objectives, he said at a budget conference held by the Finance Ministry, "is to push Iran out of the (rest of the) Middle East. It has a strong presence on the Lebanese border thanks to Hezbollah; it has a strong presence on the Syrian border. And it is establishing its status more and more inside Iraq—both politically and militarily. Inside Iraq itself, we can see the Iranians operating exactly as they are in other areas of the Middle East by turning to the Shiite population."
Cohen explained that the Iranian takeover of Iraq could lead to Tehran's vision of a "Shiite Crescent" from Iran through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. "Creating a Shiite territorial contiguity is possible for them," he said.
The Mossad chief cautioned that "if we don't push Iran out of the Middle East, with the help of all other countries in the world, we'll reach a situation of uncontrolled expansion of Iranian forces in the Middle East."
In addition to gaining foothold in other countries in the region, Iran "has considerable long-term artillery capabilities that could cover large parts of the Middle East," Cohen warned.
He said other countries in the region share Israel's views of the Islamic Republic, with "some even defining Iran as their central existential threat, something the world should be aware of and deal with accordingly."
The Mossad director called on other nations to follow the US example in changing their policy towards the expansionist Iranian regime.
"President Trump and the American State Department have written an entire new doctrine toward Iran. In it, they take into consideration everything that needs to be done to put Iran back in its right place in the Middle East," he said.