11:23 GMT15 July 2020
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    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims that the Iranian "expansion" in the Middle East region poses a threat to Russia.

    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) – Israel believes that the Iranian "expansion" in the Middle East region poses a threat to Russia and tries to persuade Moscow to abstain from cooperation with Tehran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview with the Channel 9.

    “We say that Iran – and I told [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin about that – poses a threat not only to us. Ultimately, that is also a threat to you,” Netanyahu said on late Tuesday.

    He said that Russia had strong reasons to cooperate with Iran but pointed out that boosting Tehran’s positions in Syria is  unacceptable for Israel.

    “We are concerned over the axis Russia-Iran. Of course, Russia has many explanations of its behavior: it wants to prevent the victory of the Daesh [Islamic State, outlawed in Russia], to defeat it. But, of course, it does not mean that we are ready to change the Daesh for Iran, so that Hezbollah or Shia militias use the Syrian territory, the Syria part of the Golan Heights to attack us,” Netanyahu said adding that permanent military presence of Iran and its “satellites” in Syria is unacceptable for Israel.

    Russia and Iran are cooperating on settling the Syrian conflict, being mediators of the Astana talks on the Syrian reconciliation. Both countries support Bashar Assad as the legitimate president of Syria.


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