According to reports Thursday on Israel’s Channel 2 television and the Haaretz newspaper, Russia rejected Netanyahu’s plea. Instead, the reports claimed, Moscow committed only to keeping Iranian forces five kilometers from the Golan Heights frontier.
Israel had wanted a buffer zone of between 60 and 80 kilometers from the border on the Golan Heights, and has been repeatedly warning against Iran’s military ambitions in the area, Tehran’s bid to establish a territorial “corridor” all the way to the Mediterranean, and an increased Iranian presence on Israel’s northern border, according to the reports.
It said Iran plows around $800 million per year into Hezbollah and additional hundreds of millions into the Assad regime in Syria, Shi’ite militias fighting in Syria and Iraq, and Shi’ite Houthi insurgents in Yemen. (It also supports the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror organizations in the Gaza Strip to the tune of $70 million annually.)
Israel sees attempts by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah to improve the latter’s missile accuracy as a major threat.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to present US President Donald Trump in their meeting Monday on the sidelines of the 72nd annual session of the United Nations General Assembly with a proposal for rolling back the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran signed by the Obama administration and other P5+1 powers.
According to a Channel 2 report Saturday, Netanyahu is preparing a specific formula for either scrapping the historic deal or amending it. His proposal will detail how “to cancel or at the very least introduce significant changes” to the accord, the report said.
Earlier this week, Netanyahu said Israel wanted to see the two-year-old deal — which offered Iran relief from punishing sanctions in exchange for having it roll back its nuclear program — either amended or canceled altogether.
“Our position is straightforward. This is a bad deal. Either fix it — or cancel it. This is Israel’s position,” said Netanyahu in Buenos Aires on Tuesday during a trip to Latin America.
Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with Trump on Monday in New York, a day before the Israeli leader is to give his annual address before the General Assembly. Netanyahu indicated on Friday that his speech will focus on the stance that Israel would not tolerate an Iranian presence on its northern border with Syria, now in its seventh year of a brutal civil war.