Yossi Cohen
Yossi Cohen Photo by Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

The Iranian regime is expanding its influence across the Middle East, warned Israel’s chief foreign intelligence expert at a Finance Ministry meeting Tuesday.

Yossi Cohen, who heads Israel’s Mossad national intelligence and special operations agency, said that Tehran is gaining footholds across the Middle East, with few encumbrances.

“The Iranians are spreading across the Middle East with a vast array of forces, and there is little holding them back,” said Cohen. Iran is on track “to realize its dream of creating what almost amounts to a land and air bridge allowing them to dump troops across the Middle East.”

Israel, Cohen continued, is closely monitoring Iran’s moves both at home and abroad, with assets operating inside the Islamic republic.

“We have eyes and ears, even inside Iran.”

The Mossad chief added that while he did not believe current civil unrest in Iran was likely to topple the regime at present, a mass social movement could potentially do so in the future.

“The average Iranian citizen went out to protest due to the [difficult] economic situation, and the expectation that President Hassan Rouhani would improve the economy. That’s what’s brought them out to the streets.”

“We don’t need to start speculating, even though I would, of course, be very happy to see a social revolution in Iran. That’s something that could perhaps happen in the future.”

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