Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has leveled accusations against Iran, alleging the establishment of an airport facility in southern Lebanon.
Gallant asserted Monday that Iran's intention behind establishing the airport is to facilitate potential attacks against Israel.
Addressing an international security conference hosted by Reichman University, Gallant presented evidence in the form of aerial images of the alleged site. According to the defense minister, the site is strategically situated approximately 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) from the Israeli border town of Metulla and possesses the capacity to accommodate mid-sized aircraft.
The backdrop to this accusation is the current control of southern Lebanon by Hezbollah, an armed militant group backed by Iran, with which Israel engaged in a war in 2006. Recent months have witnessed a resurgence of tensions in the region, raising concerns about regional stability and renewed large-scale armed conflict.
For Iran's clerical regime, Lebanon serves as a foothold dominated by Hezbollah, affording them the means to threaten Israel. While many Shiites view Iran as a source of financial support, a significant portion of Lebanon's Christian and Sunni populations resent Hezbollah and Iran's growing influence.
The founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his successors, have consistently expressed enmity towards Israel and have repeatedly called for its destruction over the years. Iran's arming of Hezbollah with a substantial arsenal of rockets and missiles further compounds the security challenges, directly threatening Israeli cities due to Hezbollah's operational presence in Shiite-dominated southern Lebanon.