Netanyahu Tells Visiting Russian Defense Minister: Israel Won’t Allow Iran to Establish Itself Militarily in Syria
JNS.org – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Jerusalem on Tuesday for discussions on Iran and security coordination in Syria.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman attended the meeting.
“Iran needs to understand that Israel will not allow this,” Netanyahu told Shoigu regarding the Islamic Republic’s attempt to entrench its military in Syria, near the Israeli border.
Netanyahu also raised the issue of the Iranian nuclear agreement, which was recently decertified by the Trump administration, warning Tehran will have an arsenal of nuclear weapons within 8-10 years if the accord is not changed.
Ahead of the meeting, Lieberman escorted his Russian counterpart around Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust remembrance center.
“We greatly appreciate our relationship with Russia, especially the openness and frankness,” Lieberman said Monday. “We don’t always agree but we always speak frankly and openly. We believe that the moment there is open and frank dialogue, any problems can be overcome.”
Shoigu’s visit to Israel was his first since becoming Russia’s defense minister in 2012. Lieberman visited Russia in April and met with high-level officials, including Shoigu.
The Russian defense minister arrived in Israel on Monday just hours after the Israeli military launched a strike against a Syrian army anti-aircraft battery, after the battery opened fire on Israeli Air Force planes.
IDF spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said the Russian military was notified in real-time as the Israeli strike was launched and that the incident would be addressed directly with Shoigu.