The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) “will continue to work with full determination against Iran’s attempts to transfer its military forces and weapons systems to Syria,” a senior Israeli official said in response to the military cooperation agreement signed between Tehran and Damascus.

“The prime minister has made combating Iran’s military build-up[in Syria] a central objective, just as he did with the cancellation of the Iranian nuclear agreement, which was achieved despite the fact that it seemed impossible at the time,” the official said.

Israel’s struggle against the Iranian presence in Syria is taking place “at both the diplomatic and military levels,” the senior official added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will continue to exert additional pressure on the Iranian regime, the pressure that Israel has been applying is already bearing fruit, the President of Iran has admitted that many people have lost faith in the future of the Islamic Republic and its power in the shadow of sanctions’.

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatam (Twitter/Irna English)

In response,Iran’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami said Israel’s threats to attack Iranian targets were empty during an interview with Lebanese television station Al-Mayadeen, in which he confirmed earlier reports that Iran had signed an agreement to rebuild the army of Bashar Al-Assad’s Syrian regime.

“I think Netanyahu maintains a tense atmosphere in the region to create an economic impact on the Islamic Republic,” he said.

“Knowing our capabilities, I believe that Netanyahu’s threats to attack Iranian forces in Syria are far from reality,” Hatami added, citing Iran’s air defenses.

Adding a threat of his own, Hatami said that “the Syrian government has the right to respond to any aggression against it, as has happened in the past. Syria’s allies are ready to respond to any aggression.”

However, despite Israeli and U.S. pressure, Iran’s military attaché in Damascus, Abolqassem Alinejad, said Iran would maintain its military presence in Syria.