Russia hints Iranian army should not stay on Israel’s border

Putin’s government is open to Israel’s demand that the Islamic Republic be distanced from the Syrian border with the Israeli Golan Heights. 

By: World Israel News Staff

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hinted Monday that Iranian forces should be kept far from Israel’s frontiers.

Though he did not mention Iran specifically, Lavrov said that only the Syrian regime should field military forces in the country’s southern border areas, Reuters reported citing the state-operated RIA news agency.

“Of course, the withdrawal of all non-Syrian forces must be carried out on a mutual basis, this should be a two-way street,” Lavrov said at a joint news conference in Moscow with Jose Condungua Pacheco, his counterpart from Mozambique.

“The result of this work which should continue and is continuing should be a situation when representatives of the Syrian Arab Republic’s army stand at Syria’s border with Israel,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov’s comments apparently referred to areas including the Syrian  Golan Heights region abutting the Israeli Golan Heights and the border with Jordan and indicated that Russia was open to Israeli demands that Iranian forces should be kept far from Israel’s borders.

The area is currently held by various rebel groups and Israel has accused Iran of trying to establish a presence in the area. Israel also accused Iran of firing a salvo of rockets at Israel from the area earlier in the month.

Russia concerned Israeli strikes will undermine Syria

The Ha’aretz daily reported earlier that President Vladimir Putin is considering keeping Iranian forces and Hezbollah away from Israel’s northern border, fearing that repeated Israeli strikes could undermine Syrian President Bashar Assad’s grip on the country.

The report said Russia decided to work on a deal to remove the Iranian troops following a heavy Israeli attack on Iranian targets in Syria on May 10. The bombing raids came after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s al-Quds Force launched 32 rockets at Israel’s forward defensive line on the Golan Heights border.