Rouhani: U.S.-Israel plots to create 'chaos' have failed

Iranian President claims U.S. and Israel sought to create tension in the region but failed thanks to Iran.

Ben Ariel ,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday claimed that U.S. and Israeli plots to “create chaos” in the Middle East had failed.

His comments, quoted by Reuters, came as hundreds of thousands of Iranians rallied to mark the anniversary of Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, denouncing the United States and Israel as oppressors.

Rouhani, who addressed flag-waving crowds on central Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) Square, made no specific reference to the incident on Saturday in which an Iranian drone infiltrated Israeli territory.

But he told the crowd, "They (U.S. and Israel) wanted to create tension in the region ... they wanted to divide Iraq, Syria ... They wanted to create long-term chaos in Lebanon but ... but with our help their policies failed."

In Saturday's incident, an Iranian drone entered Israeli airspace from Syria, remaining in Israel some 90 seconds before the IAF shot it down.

In response to the provocation, Israel attacked the drone's command center. During the IAF operation, Syrian surface-to-air missiles downed an Israeli F-16I fighter jet. Both pilots suffered injuries, and ejected after reaching Israeli territory.

Subsequent reports said that at least six people were killed during Israeli air strikes on regime targets in Syria, including both government officials and non-Syrians allied with the Assad government.

Those reports were disseminated by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-Assad NGO. Syria and Iran boasted of the fact that a drone had entered Israeli territory and that the Syrian military had downed an Israeli jet but did not mention the casualties on their side.

Iran is a strong supporter of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and has been providing him with both financial aid and military advisors against a range of opposing forces.

Near the start of the Syrian civil war, it was reported that then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had personally sanctioned the dispatch of officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to fight alongside Assad’s troops.

A senior Iranian commander said several months ago that Iran will provide military advisors to Syria for as long as necessary and stressed that “the advisory help isn't only in the field of planning but also on techniques and tactics.”

Meanwhile on Sunday, in a show of defiance of Western pressure to curb its ballistic missile program, Iran put its Ghadr ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 km (1,240 miles) on display in Tehran's central Vali-ye Asr street, reported Reuters.

Iran says its missile program is solely defensive in nature and stresses that it is not negotiable as demanded by the United States and the Europeans.