Israeli PM heads to Russia to advise against deal with Iran
JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embarked on a flight to Russia on Wednesday morning to discuss the Iranian nuclear plan with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The meeting between the two sides would take place at a time while the P5+1 nations’ delegates set to meet with Iranian officials for possible deal on curbing Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
Netanyahu is expected to share his concerns from the upcoming agreement with the Russian president and will try to persuade Russia to take a tougher stance towards Iran, as France did in the last round of talks.
Following France’s hard stance, the western nations now demand Iran to stop construction of its heavy waters reactor in Arak and to stop enriching uranium as well as ridding itself of its stockpiles of enriched uranium.
According to an Israeli official who wished to remain anonymous, Netanyahu is aware that Russia will not display a hard line approach towards Iran and that the visit has more to do with damage control rather than stopping the diplomatic process with Iran.
The United States is gearing up for a potential deal with Iran. U.S. President Barack Obama urged senators on Tuesday to delay voting on another round of sanctions to be implemented on Iran.
At the moment, there are still substantial gaps between Iran and the P5+1 nations and the chances to sign an agreement soon are small. Putin may be interested in taking a leading role in bridging the gaps on the Iranian issue as Russia has done on the issue of the Syrian chemical weapons stockpile.
The differences between Israel and the U.S. approach towards Iran had caused mounting tensions between the two countries, with Netanyahu warning that easing the sanctions without getting guarantees from the Iranians will be an “existential threat” to its security.