Israeli intelligence chief warns on Iran and Arab Spring

By Jennifer Lipman, July 6, 2011
Major General Aviv Kochavi

Major General Aviv Kochavi

The IDF intelligence chief has accused Iran of supporting attempts by groups of Palestinian protesters to breach Israel's northern border in May and June which led to bloody and fatal clashes.

Major General Aviv Kochavi, speaking during a knesset hearing, also said the Iranians were exploiting the Arab Spring in order to consolidate power in the Middle East.

He suggested Iran was seeking to build links with the Muslim Brotherhood given the leadership void in Egypt, and also said Iran had started to fund the organisation.

According to the Associated Press, the general added that the Iranian government has been supporting the Syrian regime in its efforts to crush anti-government protests.

He said: "They are transferring knowledge, technical aid and means for dispersing demonstrations.

"Iran and Hizbollah's motivation to help (Syria) results from their fear of the implications of the demonstrations, particularly of losing their partnership with the Syrians and a trickling of protests into their territory."

Last updated: 9:57am, July 6 2011