Hours After Attack in Syria, Rivlin Tells Merkel: Iran Might 'Drag the Whole Region Into War'

In Germany, President Rivlin stressed to Merkel that Hezbollah's arms buildup will force Israel to respond

German Chancellor Merkel welcomes Israeli President Rivlin at the Chancellery in Berlin on September 7, 2017.
HANNIBAL HANSCHKE/REUTERS

President Reuven Rivlin said Thursday in a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin that Iran might "drag the whole region into war." Their meeting came hours after an attack struck a chemical arms plant in in Syria.

Rivlin told Merkel that Iran is a subversive force, that is leading to the establishment of the Shi'ite axis in Syria and the entire Middle East, and that this constitutes a direct threat to Israel and to regional stability as a whole.

Rivlin added that "the weapons infrastructure Hezbollah is arming itself with will force the Israel to respond."

Rivlin departed for Germany on Tuesday night to dedicate a memorial to the 11 Israeli athletes murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Rivlin was invited by his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is sponsoring the ceremony together with Horst Seehofer, prime minister of the German state of Bavaria. The memorial in Munich Olympic Park is the first permanent museum paying tribute to the victims.

The attack was attributed to Israel. Syrian army general command confirmed in a statement the attack on what they called a military facility, and said that two people were killed and extensive damage was caused.