Netanyahu Meets Putin to Discuss Iran’s Latest Development
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to visit Moscow to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on May 9. They are going to discuss “the latest development in the region” amid the Iran-related intensified tension.
The upcoming’s meeting is a follow-up of a telephone conversation involving both leaders on April 30, according to an official statement from the office of Israeli Prime Minister.
The meeting will be held ahead of the May 12 deadline, imposed by U.S President Donald Trump, for deciding whether the U.S. will stay in or exit the Iran nuclear treaty signed in 2015.
On April 30, Netanyahu leaked secret Iran nuclear files obtained by the Israeli spy agency Mossad. Netanyahu stated that those documents were evidence that Iran had lied about its nuclear programs.
However, the European Union (EU) and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), the U.N agency that supervises Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement, and former Israeli general Maj.Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad snubbed Netanyahu’s claim, saying that the dossiers did not prove that Iran was breaking the deal.
The Netanyahu-Putin meeting will be the eighth in the past two years and in addition to their twelve phone conversations as Israeli media outlets reported.
Last January, Netanyahu met Putin in Moscow, to discuss Iran and the Jewish state’s plan to stop Tehran’s influence in Syria.
Two days after the Netanyahu-Putin meeting, a large delegation of senior Russian security officials visited Jerusalem to hold further talks about Iran’s role in Syria and Lebanon.
Moscow’s role in preserving Iran’s nuclear accord
Various European leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel both recently visited Trump in an apparent attempt to encourage Trump to keep the U.S. in the Iran deal. While the deal prohibits Iran from developing nuclear arsenals, Trump claims it fails to address Iran’s ability to test ballistic missiles and thus, the deal must be fixed or scrapped.
Trump’s effort to fix the agreement was echoed by U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who called on the U.S allies in the Middle East to unite to reimpose sanctions on Tehran.
“We are urging nations around the world to sanction any individuals and entities associated with Iran’s missile program, and it has also been a big part of discussions with Europeans,” Brian Hook, a senior policy advisor traveling with Pompeo on a mid-east tour in late April, told reporters.
A Russian official stated that Moscow would deepen ties with Tehran even if Trump kills the nuclear agreement.
The deal was originally signed in 2015 by the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom and Germany. Russia warned that the European countries and the U.S. cannot renegotiate the deal’s items without involving Moscow, indicating how important Iran is to Russia.
“If the European trio reaches an agreement with the Americans on something, neither our Chinese counterparts nor we have anything to do with that. Everyone signed an agreement, and no one has authorized the European trio to talk on behalf of a group of six nations,” Vladimir Chizov, Russia’s permanent representative to the EU, said in a recent Brussels visit.