In his speech before the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked the Iranian backed Hezbollah party, describing the militant group as a real threat to Israel’s survival.
“For those who believe that Iran threatens the Jewish state, but not the Jewish people, listen to Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, Iran’s chief terrorist proxy. He said: If all the Jews gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of chasing them down around the world,” Netanyahu said.
“Iran’s goons in Gaza, its lackeys in Lebanon, its revolutionary guards on the Golan Heights are clutching Israel with three tentacles of terror,” he added, in his address to a joint session of U.S. legislature.
Netanyahu also recalled Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s 2014 visit to Lebanon.
“Last year, the same Zarif who charms Western diplomats laid a wreath at the grave of Imad Mughniyeh,” Hezbollah’s slain military commander, Netanyahu said.
“Imad Mughniyeh is the terrorist mastermind who spilled more American blood than any other terrorist besides Osama bin Laden,” the Israeli PM added.
He warned that “in the Middle East, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals — Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa.”
“If Iran’s aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow,” Netanyahu cautioned, calling on the international community to “stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation and terror.”
Mughniyeh, who led Hezbollah’s military resistance against Israel, was killed in a February 2008 car bomb blast in the Syrian capital Damascus.
Hezbollah blamed Israel for his murder , the , but Israel denied any involvement.
U.S. and Israeli officials have accused Mughniyeh of association with many bombings, kidnappings and assassinations, beginning with the Beirut U.S. barracks bomb attack and U.S. embassy bombings, both of which took place in 1983 and killed over 350, as well as the kidnapping of dozens of foreigners in Lebanon in the 1980s.
He was indicted in Argentina for an alleged role in the 1992 Israeli embassy attack in Buenos Aires.
U.S. officials have accused him of killing more United States citizens than any other anti-U.S. operative prior to the 2001 U.S. attacks, and the bombings and kidnappings he is alleged to have organized are credited with all but eliminating the U.S. military presence in Lebanon in the 1980s.