Syria remains at the heart of escalating tensions between Israel and Iran, and the exchange of accusations between the two nations during the week of the General Debate of the 73rd UN General Assembly (UNGA) clearly indicates that these sharp disagreements show no sign of abating.

On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the UN platform to announce that his country allegedly discovered Iran’s second secret atomic warehouse used to store nuclear-related material.

The claims met a swift and harsh response from Tehran. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif noted that these “revelations” had been meant to obfuscate what he called the fact that Israel was the only country with “secret” and “undeclared” nuclear weapons program, calling on Tel Aviv to disclose it to international inspectors.

Anti-Iran Speech as Bid to Justify Own Attacks on Syria 

According to Joshua Pollack, a senior research associate from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, the issue of Iranian military presence in Syria was a real “subtext” of Netanyahu’s remarks.

“As long as the Iranians have armed forces in Syria, and as long as they continue to support Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Israeli government will shine the harshest possible light on them in public forums like the UNGA,” said Pollack 

Syrian lawmaker Ahmad Merhi similarly tied Netanyahu’s UNGA speech with the developments in Syria, suggesting, however, that it was an attempt to portray Israel as a victim amid the alleged Iranian threat coming from the neighboring country and somehow justify its own actions in Syria which led to the crash of the Russian Il-20 jet.

“Netanyahu wants to push the world against Iran specifically after Israel’s incident with the Russian plane. He tries to justify their acts amid the plane incident. Netanyahu wanted to use the UN tribune to show that Israel is a victim in this situation. At the same time he was reiterating that his military operations in Syria will not stop,” said Merhi 

Contributed by Sputnik News Agency