Citing Iran Fears, Israel Quietly Lobbied Against Syrian Ceasefire Agreement

Hailed as an early diplomatic achievement for President Trump, he announced a ceasefire in Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month. This is likely to stop ISIS and other Islamic radicals from overthrowing Syrian President Bashir al-Assad. However, the state of Israel lobbied against the agreement, fearing that it would embolden their Iranian enemies.

According to a Haaretz report, Israel, the United States and Russia were involved in secret deliberations before the ceasefire was finalized last month. During those deliberations, Israel lobbied aggressively against the agreement citing that it would strengthen the Iranian regime. Israel’s primary foreign policy goal is to weaken their Iranian enemies, even if it means empowering ISIS and other extremists in the region.

Trump and Putin considered the advice from the Israelis, but ultimately chose to move forward with the ceasefire agreement anyway. “Israel is aware of Iran’s expansionist goals in Syria,” a statement released by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said. Netanyahu publicly expressed his dismay with the agreement on July 16.

In spite of the discord, Russian and U.S. officials have not forgotten about the concerns of the Israelis and will be taking them into concern as the ceasefire is effectuated. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov assured the Israelis that their security concerns would be taken into consideration while U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson claimed that removing Iranian military forces from Syria was a necessary precondition for America agreeing to the ceasefire.

“The direct presence of Iranian military forces inside of Syria, they must leave and go home, whether those are Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces or whether those are paid militias, foreign fighters, that Iran has brought into Syria in this battle,” Tillerson said at a State Department press conference last week.

Although it is clear both Russia and the U.S. are allied very closely with the Israelis, it is obvious that neither country will be taking orders from them when it comes to foreign policy.

1 Comment

  1. Misrepresenting the Israeli position and understating its legitimate concerns. BTW, UN 1701 called for Hezbollah (and all militias in Lebanon other than the Lebanese army itself) to be disarmed – how’s that working out?

    From another source:

    “While the international community has focused on Syria as a battleground against ISIS, Tehran has been using the Syrian civil war to subtly grab territory, thus carving a path to the sea that arcs from Iran and Iraq.

    Hezbollah, an Iranian funded force in Lebanon, announced last month that it had captured the Syrian-Lebanese border area of Juroud-Arsal from ISIS. This marks yet another success for Iran, as it grows its influence and power base within the Middle East. Iran has been seeking to expand its influence and become a world power that imposes Islamic theocratic rule over as many individuals as possible.

    Part of their strategy to achieve that goal has been the creation of a land corridor through the region, which would allow the movement of troops and goods. This top exporter of terror has used its finances and military might to support armed militias throughout the region in a quest to create the corridor. Hezbollah has used the cover of the Syrian conflict to gain control of strategic swatches of land.

    The Iranian regime has broken international law and forcefully expelled the Sunni population and replaced it with Shiites. This changed the local demographics to support Tehran’s planned land corridor through Syria and Iraq. Throughout this process, Hezbollah has become a division of the Iranian army, working for Tehran in several key areas, including Yemen and Iraq.

    The international community needs to come together with a strategy to stand up to Iran and limit the growth of this corridor and its power grab throughout the region. The mistake is thinking that ISIS is the greater threat, while Iran has been able to use ISIS as a distraction to continue to add pieces of territory to its corridor.”

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