Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is coming to Moscow on Wednesday to meet with President Vladimir Putin. According to an Israeli analyst, Israel may offer to lobby the Trump administration to remove US sanctions on Russia in exchange for the latter applying pressure on Iran to withdraw from Syria.
Ahead of Netanyahu’s Moscow visit, the NATO summit, and Trump’s summit meeting with Putin in Helsinki on Monday, The New Yorker reported, citing current and former US officials, that Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been lobbying to try to convince Trump to remove US sanctions on Russia in exchange for help removing Iranian forces from Syria. According to the magazine, Russian officials were also approached to see if Moscow could be persuaded to talk to the Iranians about the issue.
Last week, pre-empting a series of high-level meetings, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov emphasized that expecting a withdrawal of Iranian assistance to Syria would be “absolutely unrealistic,” given that Tehran is a key power in the region. Regional powers should instead discuss mutual issues and negotiate a compromise, he noted.
Lavrov’s comments follow multiple statements by Damascus, Tehran, and Lebanese militia force Hezbollah in recent weeks that an Iranian withdrawal from Syria is not something to be decided by anyone other than the Syrian government, which formally invited Hezbollah and Iranian advisers…