BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:30 A.M.) – The U.S. and Israel require that Iran fully withdraw from Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon before any future agreement on Syria can be put in place, Israel-based Channel 13 revealed late on Wednesday.
Citing an unnamed U.S. official, Channel 13 said that during the tripartite meeting between the U.S., Israel, and Russia on June 24th, the delegates from Washington and Tel Aviv demanded that Moscow force the Iranians to withdraw from Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. “.
“The Trump administration and Israel are concerned about any future deal in Syria that could lead to more Iranian problems in Iraq and Lebanon,” the official said. “If the Iranians move from Syria to neighboring countries, this will not solve anything.”
“The potential deal on Syria was the focus of the three-way summit talks held last month in Jerusalem between Israel, the United States and Russia, in which Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben Shabat, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton and National Security Adviser Nikolai Patrushev attended,” he said.
“The Russians discussed with the United States and Israel an agreement on the stability of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Russians expressed their hope that the United States would encourage Western countries to help finance the reconstruction of Syria,” the channel said.
The channel quoted the same source as saying that “Russia is allied with Iran in Syria and will not be able to or does not seek to force the Iranian forces to leave Syria. The Russians claim that they expelled Iranian-backed forces 60 miles from the Israeli border, but Israeli officials say that the groups are still operating in the region. ”
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The U.S. official told Channel 13 that “Bolton and Ben Shabat informed Patrushev that the withdrawal of Iranian forces from Syria is a prerequisite for any deal, but that is not enough, because any deal must address the Iranian military presence in Lebanon, mainly rocket factories belonging to Hezbollah.”
“The US and Israel also told Russia that such a deal should also address the Iranian presence in Iraq – especially when it comes to arming Shiite militias with long-range missiles capable of reaching Israel,” the official said.
“Bolton and Ben Shabat told Patrushev that as a first stage, the Russians could focus on pressuring the Iranians to pull out their heavy weapons, especially missiles in and missiles outside Syria,” adding that “Bolton explained to Putin that in any case Russia had to take the first step with regard to the Iranian position in Syria, and only then can the United States give them the things they want. “