Russia Says Iran Legitimately in Syria, But Israel Won’t Allow Iranian Base There

Is Russia going to endorse an Iranian base in Syria?Russian President Vladimir Putin. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of the office of the President of Russia.

The United States and Israel have a goal of seeing Iranian units leaving Syria, but Russia—the other major world power involved in the Syrian war along with the US—says they did not agree to that plan. The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters on Tuesday that the Syrian ceasefire deal with the US does not involve “goals on Syria”. And when discussing the American objective of seeing Iranian soldiers and terror proxy Hezbollah leave Syria, Lavrov deflected and instead called the US opposition allies in the conflict the “biggest threat.”

Lavrov, according to SANA, said the Russian and Iranian presence in Syria is “legitimate” and at the invitation of the Syrian regime, whereas the US coalition is “illegitimate.” But while Russia is demurring on the departure of Iranians from Syria at best, the Israelis have made it clear they will not allow Iran to have a base in their next-door neighbor to the north—even if they have to stop the Iranians by themselves.

“If we stand together we’re going to achieve it, but I’ve always said, if we have to, we’ll stand alone. Iran will not get nuclear weapons. It will not turn Syria into a military base against Israel,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quoted as saying by his spokesman on Twitter on Wednesday.

Prime Minister’s Spokesman Ofir Gendelman’s Twitter feed also quoted Netanyahu as saying generic viagra youtube that Iran’s goal was to make Syria a permanent military home. “Iran is scheming to entrance itself militarily in Syria,” Gendelman quoted Netanyahu as saying. “They want to create a permanent air, land and sea military presence, with the declared intent of using Syria as a base from which to destroy Israel. We’re not going to agree to that.”

The Americans also don’t want an Iranian base in Syria. A senior US State Department official, in comments released by that office on Saturday, told reporters that “we have a very clear view on the presence of all of these foreign forces in Syria, which is that they shouldn’t be there at all.”

The official referred to the southwest de-escalation region set up with the Russians, and in which the Iranians are to leave the area, and implied that could be a step towards a total Iranian withdrawal from the country. The official said that if this ceasefire zone works, that “would be an auspicious signal that our policy objective—the objective that I think so many of us share of getting these guys out of Syria ultimately—that there’s a path in that direction.”

Yet despite those intentions, Russia has refused to endorse that plan just days later. And after Lavrov’s comments endorsing the current Iranian presence in Syria, Netanyahu wasn’t the only Israeli official who was talking tough.

In comments posted to his Twitter feed, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, “We preserve freedom of action. We will not allow Iran’s Shi’ite establishment in Syria.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, November 15, 2017)

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