President Donald Trump announced in a speech Tuesday afternoon that he was withdrawing the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, a foreign policy agreement made during the Obama administration that Trump has criticized since its inception.
His decision, which has been foreshadowed for some time, has already drawn varied reactions, both positive and negative, from people around the globe.
In what would be one of the worst reactions to the withdrawal, some are concerned Iran may launch a military strike against its bitter ideological and religious enemy, the nation of Israel.
That fear prompted the Israeli Defense Force to issue a warning to Israeli citizens living in the Golan Heights along the border with Syria — where Iranian military assets are located — to take preemptive protective measures just ahead of Trump’s speech.
“Following the identification of irregular activity of Iranian forces in Syria, the IDF has decided to change the civilian protection instructions in the Golan Heights and instructs local authorities to unlock and ready shelters in the area,” read the warning from the IDF.
“The Israeli public should remain attentive to IDF instructions that will be given if necessary,” the warning continued. “Additionally, defense systems have been deployed and IDF troops are on high alert for an attack.”
“The IDF is prepared for various scenarios and warns that any aggression against Israel will be met with a severe response,” the message concluded.
Israeli media outlet Haaretz issued a warning of its own around the same time as it fretted about the potential danger Israel could face from Iran in the aftermath of the cancellation of the nuclear deal.
The piece noted that Israel had taken military action against Iranian targets in Syria in recent months, and though Iran had chosen to not retaliate, that decision may have been in the interest of maintaining the nuclear deal.
However, now that the constraints of the deal are no longer holding them back, Iran could decide to lash out.
That potential strike could come directly from Iranian forces in Syria or via their Hezbollah proxies in Syria and Lebanon, and could range from attacks using troops with small arms and explosives to guided-missile and rocket strikes in Israeli territory.
That sort of action would inevitably draw a severe diplomatic, if not military, response from not just Israel, but also the United States and the major European nations involved in the deal.
The nuclear deal with Iran has been viewed as a dire but eventual threat to the existence of Israel, but now that all bets are off, the Jewish nation could face a much more immediate threat, although likely not of the nuclear sort.
Regardless, Israel is prepared to defend itself against any aggression from Iran or its proxies, and has taken steps to protect its vulnerable citizens from undue harm if that were to occur.
Hopefully those preparations, wise as they certainly are, will prove unnecessary.
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