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Israeli Prime Minsiter focuses on Iranian problem at Moscow talks

November 21, 2013, 12:41 UTC+3 World Service) ¶ 21/11 Tass ¶ MOSCOW

Israel hopes Moscow would use all the leverage on Tehran to make the agreement as strict as possible

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© ITAR-TASS/Alexey Nikolskiy

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Moscow. At talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin he argued that Russia, like other members of the group of the six world powers, should not agree to easing sanctions against Iran. The sides failed to reach an agreement on this issue. However, the Russian-Israeli relations are developing successfully.

The main theme at Wednesday’s talks between Netanyahu and Putin was an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, which is being prepared these days in Geneva, the Kommersant daily writes. According to the newspaper, the Israeli leader, who is the main opponent of the deal, hopes that Moscow would use all the leverage on Tehran to make the agreement as strict as possible, and in return would get a leading role in the Iranian settlement - the same as is the case with the Syrian chemical weapons.

A source close to the Israeli government told Kommersant that “Netanyahu understands that the deal on which the United States insists, will be concluded,” and sees no possibility at all to influence Washington. So Netanyahu went to Moscow. His main aim, according to the newspaper sources, is to persuade the Russian leadership to make Tehran make maximum possible concessions and make the agreements (“as they cannot be prevented”) maximally binding on Tehran.

The Kommersant daily writes that the Israeli side expects that if Moscow agrees to influence Iran and if this mission proves successful, the role of the main peacemaker in the Iranian issue settlement would go to Russia - as it has happened with the Russian initiative to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons.

“Barack Obama’s fumbling foreign policy opens up new opportunities for the Kremlin to beat the United States in the diplomatic field,” said Director of the Russian Jewish Congress (RJC) Benny Briskin, who for 10 years had been an adviser to Netanyahu. “In Syria, Russia has won in every way, and in the case of Iran it also has the motivation to be in the front line of dealing with serious global problems.”


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