Daily Israel Report

Syria Reaches Out from Iran to Argentina for Allies

Syria receives advanced radar from Iran and promises to back Argentinean claims for the Falklands in return for support for Golan Heights.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 7/4/2010, 2:42 PM / Last Update: 7/4/2010, 2:54 PM

Israel news file (photo)

Syria has branched out from its alliance with Iran, which is supplying it with advanced radar systems. Syria has promised Argentina support for its claim on the Falkland Islands, and in return, Argentina has offered Damascus its support for Syrian claims on the Golan Heights.

Syrian President Bashar Assad, on his first tour of Latin America, is trying to broaden the growing Iranian-Syrian axis, which now includes close ties with Turkey, Venezuela, Cuba and Brazil as well as the Hizbullah terrorist organization.

Assad assured Argentinean President Cristina Kirchner he would back her efforts to take sovereignty over the Falklands, which it calls the Malvinas. Argentina invaded the British held Falkland Islands located off the shore of Argentina in1982 but the ensuing war was won by Great Britain who had reclaimed the islands in 1833 after a period when they were left in the hands of France and Spain. Kircher replied that Argentina supports Syrian claims to the Golan Heights, an addition to the backing Assad received from Brazil and Cuba during his tour.

Syria has denied as “classic Israeli PR stunts” a report in The Wall Street Journal that Iran has supplied it with sophisticated radar that could reduce Israel’s ability to launch a surprise aerial attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The system, which one report stated has been placed in the mountains of Lebanon near Israel’s northern border, also would allow Hizbullah to achieve accuracy if it attacks Israel with missiles. In the Second Lebanon War, Israeli planes were able to fly over southern Lebanon without interference.

U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley, commenting on the report in the Journal, told reporters, "We don't believe that Iran's designs for the region are in Syria's best interest.”