(January 29, 2018 / JNS) In his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Putin that Israel will “stop” Iranian encroachment in Syria and Lebanon.
“The question is: Does Iran entrench itself in Syria, or will this process be stopped. If it doesn’t stop by itself, we will stop it,” Netanyahu told reporters as he was leaving Moscow.
“We also spoke about Lebanon, which is becoming a factory for precision-guided missiles that threaten Israel. These missiles pose a grave threat to Israel, and we will cannot accept this threat,” he added.
The Israeli leader said that Iran is “in the process of” building weapons factories inside of Lebanon.
“I explained our policy. These are not idle words,” he said. “The Russians understand our position, they understand well the significance that we give to these threats.”
Netanyahu’s rhetoric comes after an IDF spokesperson made a rare plea to the Lebanese people, in a letter published by a Lebanese opposition news website, that their countries could head towards war if Iran and Hezbollah continue to build up their presence in Lebanon.
“Lebanon has become—both by its own actions and omissions and by a blind eye from many members of the international community—one large missile factory,” IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis wrote for the Lebanese website Ahewar.
Netanyahu also said that he discussed the Iran nuclear deal with Putin, saying that he raised his “objections” to the accord and echoed what he has heard on the issue from President Donald Trump.
“I can’t speak for the Russian position, but they understood that if certain changes weren’t made, it is very possible that the U.S. would make good on its threat” to pull out of the agreement, said Netanyahu.