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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Fateful Triangle How does Russia position itself between Iran and Israel in the Middle East?

Fateful Triangle

On a visit to the Kremlin last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed to his host, President Vladimir Putin, Israel’s strong concerns over reports that Iran intends to establish a naval presence on Syria’s Mediterranean coast and deploy Hezbollah and other pro-Iranian forces near the Golan Heights.
This was Netanyahu’s fourth trip to Moscow in 18 months. Netanyahu and Putin maintain close relations, and frequently speak over the phone. Over the years Russian and Israeli officials have learned to understand each other well. Yet, as Putin’s spokesman said after the meeting, no decisions were taken and none had been expected.
Even as the Russian leader was welcoming the Israeli prime minister, the Russian Navy’s Caspian Flotilla was hosting Iranian sailors who had arrived in Makhachkala, Russian Dagestan, on a friendly visit. In Syria, Russia and Iran are military allies. Russian ships engaged in a spectacular display of their newly acquired capabilities in October 2015, when they fired cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea over Iranian territory at targets in Syria. Russians operate from the air in Syria, while the Iranians and their proxies fight alongside Syrian government forces on the ground.
So, which way will Moscow go?

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