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Iran, Hezbollah, Lebanon top Bennett's agenda with Biden

Israel fears that Iran and Hezbollah will take advantage of the economic and political crisis in Lebanon to tighten their hold on the country.
Lebanese soldiers stand next to a truck carrying a multiple rocket launcher after confiscating it

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is now on his way to Washington for a first official visit. He is scheduled to meet with President Joe Biden Aug. 26. Iran’s nuclear ambitions and its involvement in disseminating terrorism throughout the Middle East will undoubtedly form the center of this week’s White House talks between Bennett and Biden and his team. Sources close to Bennett told the press Aug. 23 that Israel has drawn up a strategic plan to contain Iran, block its nuclear breakout efforts and rein in its regional subversion. They said Bennett intends to try to mobilize Biden’s support for this road map.

However, in the lead-up to Bennett’s first White House visit, far less media attention is being paid to another regional actor linked to the Iranian issue who troubles Israel’s leadership just as much: Hezbollah, which is fast becoming a significant threat equal to the Iranian one. While Iran continues its slow progress toward developing a nuclear weapon, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah is moving much faster to amass first hundreds and then thousands of precision missiles. Israel considers this buildup a strategic tie breaker that would enable Hezbollah to harm its military and economic infrastructure and greatly hamper the capabilities of its air force and other means at its disposal.

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