Support The Moscow Times!

Netanyahu Lobbies Putin Against Iran Deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Russia to insist that world powers set tough terms for Iran in any deal reached in the standoff over Tehran's nuclear program.

After failing to convince Washington that global powers are pursuing a bad deal, Netanyahu flew to Moscow to meet President Vladimir Putin as envoys from Russia, the U.S., China, France, Britain and Germany meet Iranian negotiators in Geneva.

Netanyahu suggested after meeting Putin late Wednesday that Israel would be satisfied only if Iran ended all its nuclear work and cited a deal reached on the destruction of all Syria's chemical arms as a model to follow.

"For Israel, the greatest threat to us and to the security of the world is Iran's attempt to arm itself with nuclear weapons. Both our countries have a joint objective: We do not want to see Iran with nuclear weapons," he said.

"There is a lot to be learned from the solution achieved in Syria over the chemical weapons, where Russia and others rightly insisted on full dismantling of Syria's chemical weapons."

Citing the Syria agreement, which helped avert the threat of U.S. military strikes over a gas attack that Washington blames on Syrian government forces, Netanyahu added: "We think that it is possible to reach a better deal [over Iran] and it will require perseverance and insistence, of course."

He and Putin, however, gave few details of their meeting in the Kremlin. Putin said they had discussed Iran in detail and added only that he was hopeful of a positive result from the talks in Geneva. There was no sign that Russia had shifted its position on Iran in any way.

Read more