On May 9, Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and attend the Victory Day Parade in Russia. During the talks with Putin, the Israeli prime minister thanked his counterpart for the invitation as well as for separate mentioning of Holocaust in his speech. According to Netanyahu, this is another evidence of close relations between the peoples of Russia and Israel.
Putin, in his turn, noted that Moscow and Tel Aviv shared memories of World War II and were united in their attitude to Nazism. In commemoration of the victims of the war, the leaders laid wreaths at the tomb of the unknown soldier.
“The role of history is very important –when such a murderous ideology appears, it is necessary to stand up to it in time. It is hard to believe, but 73 years after the Holocaust, we in the Middle East have a country – Iran – which openly calls for the destruction of the state of Israel,” Netanyahu said at the beginning of the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The meeting between the two leaders comes a day after US President Donald Trump announced his decision to pull out Washingon from the nuclear deal with Iran.
Russia, alongside many European countries, has spoken out in favor of preserving the agreement, whereas Netanyahu, who has been insisting that Iran violates the agreement, has welcomed this move. It is worth mentioning that Tehran’s compliance has been repeatedly confirmed by the nuclear watchdog, International Atomic Energy Agency.
Tensions between Israel and Iran has been running high recently, with the latest episode being suspected overnight Israeli attack on the outskirts of Damascus which reportedly targeted depots belonging to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Apart from the nuclear deal, Israel also expresses concern over alleged Iran’s attempts to establish a permanent military presence in Syria and thus expand its clout in the whole region.
However, Tehran denies the claims, noting that the country has been only sending military advisers to train troops loyal to Damascus since Iran supports Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in his struggle against terrorist groups in the country. Nevertheless, Israel continues to view Iranian activities as a threat to national security.