Netanyahu: Victory over ISIS is welcome, Iran in Syria is not

PM says meeting with Vladimir Putin was mostly about Iran's presence in Syira, meeting was important for security of both Russia and Israel.

Gary Willig,

Netanyahu and Putin meet at the Kremlin
Netanyahu and Putin meet at the Kremlin
Haim Zach/Flash90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin a success Wednesday.

"I conferred here today in Sochi, on the Black Sea, for about three hours with President Vladimir Putin. Most of the discussion dealt with Iran's attempt to establish a foothold in Syria in the places where ISIS was defeated and is leaving. The victory over ISIS is welcome. Iran's entry is unwelcome, endangering us, and in my opinion, endangering the region and the world," the prime minister said following his meeting with the Russian president.

"I spoke to President Putin very clearly about our positions on this matter and the fact that this is unacceptable to us. I can say about previous meetings with President Putin that any such conversation served the security of Israel and Israeli interests and I believe Russia's interests as well. Based on today's conversation today, I think I can say the same things vis-à-vis Russia," Netanyahu added.

Sources in Netanyahu's office explained earlier that "this meeting is part of a wider international effort led by Prime Minister Netanyahu and intended to impress upon the world how dangerous Iran's foothold in Syria is."

Israel informed the US about Netanyahu's meeting with Russia, which is attended by Environmental Protection Minister Zeev Elkin (Likud) and by Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen.

Meanwhile, Iran promised to resume enrichment within five days if US President Donald Trump cancels the deal.