Security sources in Tel Aviv revealed that Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz carried with him to the United Nations headquarters in New York many documents on Iranian activity in the Middle East.
Among the most prominent of these documents is a file containing photos and reports showing that Iran is building factories for missile weapons, advanced munitions, and drones, in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
According to sources who requested anonymity, Gantz’s documents made it clear that the cited factories were limited to Syria, but in recent months, crews from the Lebanese Hezbollah and Yemeni Houthis were trained at those sites.
Gantz spoke personally on this issue during a lecture he gave at The Jerusalem Post Conference in New York.
He said 2022 witnessed a significant increase in Iranian military activity, directed not only against Israel, but also against countries in the region and even Europe.
There has been a “sharp increase in Iran’s violent activity” in the region since the start of 2022, he remarked.
Despite economic hardships facing its own citizens, Iran sends more than $1 billion to its proxy groups, he noted.
Iran is establishing an advanced weapons industry in Syria to serve its war plans and to supply its militias, but Israeli raids against those sites had forced it to look for other solutions, he went on to say.
According to Gantz, one of the solutions was for Iran to move some of these factories to Lebanon and Yemen.
He pointed out that it has resorted to storing arms in buildings “in the heart of residential neighborhoods in several Lebanese and Yemeni towns, threatening the lives of safe civilians.”
“Iran is the biggest destabilizing factor in the Middle East,” warned Gantz, explaining that Iranian activity can fuel terrorism and the arms race, threaten the global economy and energy resources, and affect food prices, trade, freedom of navigation and stability in the region.