This is what (Israeli) Prime Minister Netanyahu said at the Joint Session of Congress: "Time is running out, and the hinge of history may soon turn. For the greatest danger could soon be upon us: A militant Islamic regime armed with nuclear weapons." On CNN, Ehud Barak made similar points. The threat of Iran has been articulated loudly by (Israel).
However, the greatest opportunity to curb Iran's ambitions is sitting on the world's doorstep. The potential upcoming fall of the Syrian regime opens the door for (Israel) to finally gain greater regional stability and for the world to begin throwing off the yoke of Iranian fear.
Syria is the striking force. From within Syria's borders the powerful groups Hezbollah and Hamas suckle the armament, training, and Jihad in relative safety. Syria provides the key overland route between Iran and Lebanon which has served as a conduit for the transfer of massive shipments of military hardware to Hezbollah in from Iran.
The US State Department estimates Iranian support of Hezbollah ranges between $100 and $200 million annually. Through this military might, south Lebanon has become the sole domain of Hezbollah.
Syria is also host to Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Hamas' control room.
In Syria, opposition forces are banding together under the name Free Syria Army and are transforming the uprising into an armed insurgency. A new umbrella organization called Syria's National Council is trying to unite anti-government groups. Even the Arab League, usually reticent to call out a member state, has strongly condemned and then suspended Syria from its ranks.
Support of Hamas will wither
However, China and Russia have shown support for Assad's grip. In early October, Russia and China vetoed a UN resolution blaming the Syrian regime for the escalation of violence. Syria has long been Russian's main ally in the Middle East and Russia maintains a naval base there. China fears instability in a region that sells it oil. Both Russia and China also have important economic and geopolitical interests in Iran and do not want its power diminished.
So far the Arab Spring may have benefited Iran overall. Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-Syrian Fulbright scholar and columnist for Harvard International Review, wrote on Fox: "In terms of the nuclear proliferation, the events of the Arab Spring seem to have benefited the Iranian regime due to the fact that it has diverted the attention of the international community from Iranian nuclear development to the socio-political transitions in neighboring Arab nation."
That may have been true up to this point. But with the upcoming fall of the Assad regime Iran's power will be weakened, at least locally. The pernicious overland route between Iran and Hezbollah will be hampered or broken. Hezbollah will have to go at it alone and maybe face its own Arab Spring down the line. Without the Assad-state, the Iranian backing of Hamas and Hezbollah will wither and leave the terror proxies more vulnerable to an Israeli attack as well.
And for those who fear a Hezbollah preemptive strike on (Israel), Michael Young from the Lebanese English paper The Daily Star argues that Hezbollah could takes Lebanon into a war against (Israel).
No one knows what will replace the Assad regime: A Jihadist junta, a drawn out civil war or, or even the eventual rise of a freedom loving society. But it is certain that breaking the Syria-Iran axis will benefit (Israel).