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US, Israel Want Iran to Withdraw from Syria, Lebanon and Iraq

US, Israel Want Iran to Withdraw from Syria, Lebanon and Iraq

Thursday, 18 July, 2019 - 07:45
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with US National Security Advisor John Bolton during their meeting in Jerusalem, August 20, 2018. (Sebastian Scheiner /Pool via Reuters)
Tel Aviv - Asharq Al-Awsat

Political sources in Tel Aviv and Washington revealed on Wednesday that the United States and Israel told Russia, during the tripartite security meeting in West Jerusalem at the end of June, that any agreement on the future of Syria should include the withdrawal of Iranian forces, not only from Syria but also from Lebanon and Iraq.

The summit included US National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli National Security Council Director Meir Ben-Shabbat and Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council.

The meeting reportedly discussed the possibility of a political settlement to end the war in Syria, as the Russians were hoping to get the support of the United States, and thus that of Israel, for their efforts to stabilize the regime of Bashar Assad, and start the process of raising funds for the reconstruction of Syria, in parallel with an end of the western economic sanctions imposed on Moscow five years ago because of the crisis of Ukraine.

“Bolton made it clear to Patrushev that, in any case, Russia is the one that needs to take the first step regarding the Iranian presence in Syria—and only then the US could give them things they want,” Israeli media quoted the US officials as saying.

The security advisors of the US and Israel also requested that the deal on Syria would include the withdrawal of Iranian forces from Lebanon, including the dismantling of precision-missile factories developed by Iran for Hezbollah, in addition to ending the supply of pro-Iranian militias in Iraq with long-range missiles that could reach Israel.

Russian officials have been showing public support for Iran.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his special envoy to Tehran to ease tensions between Iran and the United States and briefed the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, on the outcome of the Jerusalem summit.

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