How’s That Iran Détente Working?

Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin about Moscow’s military build up in Syria. But though relations between Israel and Russia have been relatively friendly in recent years, Netanyahu got no more satisfaction from Putin than he has recently received from President Obama. The authoritarian leader assured him that the Russians in Syria had no hostile intentions toward Israel and that the tottering Syrian government was too tied up fighting for its life against ISIS and other rebel groups to pose any threat to it either. Both those assertions are probably true. But what was missing from that reassurance was any promise that Russia’s main ally in propping up the Assad regime in Damascus would not use the chaos in Syria to undermine Israel’s security. The collapse of Syria has allowed Iran a way to open a new front against Israel as Hezbollah forces have consolidated their hold on part of the border with Israel. If Israel is upset about what is going on in Syria, it isn’t so much its concerns about the efforts on the part of the Russians to prop up Assad and assure security of its base at Latakia. Rather, it is the way the financial windfall Iran will receive as a result of signing the Iran nuclear deal is enabling it strengthen both Hezbollah and Hamas.

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How’s That Iran Détente Working?

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