Netanyahu to Putin: lifting missile ban to boost Iran ‘aggressiveness’

Netanyahu warned that such a step ‘would only increase Iran’s ‘aggressiveness in the region.’ (File: Reuters)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday expressed Israel’s “grave concerns” over Moscow’s decision to lift a ban on supplying Iran with sophisticated S-300 air defense missile systems.

In a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Netanyahu warned that such a step “would only increase Iran’s aggressiveness in the region and would undermine the security of the Middle East,” a statement from his office said.

The Kremlin said that “Putin explained in detail the logic of actions of the Russian leadership” during the call, which was initiated by Netanyahu.

An ensuing statement from the Israeli premier called the “sale of advanced weaponry to Iran” a “direct result of the dangerous deal on the table between Iran and the P5+1.”

“Can anyone still seriously claim that the deal with Iran will enhance security in the Middle East?” Netanyahu asked in the statement.

Tehran had said Moscow’s move, announced on Monday, would be a step towards “lasting security” in the region.

The Russian decision followed the April 2 framework deal between Iran and six world powers over its nuclear program, ahead of technical talks aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear drive.

In remarks reported from Madrid by the Islamic republic’s ISNA news agency, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday the talks would resume next Tuesday, April 21.

Israel strongly opposes the emerging deal, which it fears will be unable to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, should it choose to do so.


Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44