The high point of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s noteworthy 90-minute talk with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem Monday, June 25, was Putin’s firm assertion that Iran will not get a nuclear bomb. This is disclosed exclusively by debkafile’s Jerusalem and Moscow sources.
He also dismissed reports that the third round in Moscow of six-power talks with Iran (June 18-19) led nowhere, stressing they were serious and substantial. The next round taking place in Istanbul on July for technical discussions is, according to the Russian president, of prime importance. For the first time, he explained, the nuclear negotiations with Iran will get down to the core issues and would therefore of greater significance than the “Ashton-Jalili” sessions.
(He was referring to European foreign executive Catherine Ashton who chairs the negotiations and Saeed Jalili, senior Iranian negotiator.)
Putin corrected the general impression that Russia has confined itself to the role of passive bystander in the bargaining with Iran: Quite the reverse, he said: Moscow has been proactively working for accord behind the scenes and its “input” to the process “is considerable.”
Although the word “intelligence” was not mentioned, it was clearly intimated by the Russian visitor when he said, “We [Russians] know more about what is going on with regard to Iran’s (nuclear) capabilities than the Americans.”
It was Putin’s way to scoff at Israel for investing so much time and strategic assets in endless wrangling over how to handle the Iranian threat with American security, military and intelligence chiefs, when the Netanyahu government would be better served by sparing a fraction of that time for talking to Moscow.
In conclusion, he stressed to Netanyahu that it was unnecessary for Israel to use military force against Iran’s nuclear program. Israel knows exactly how much Russia has done to prevent Iran building a nuclear weapon,” he said. “A nuclear weapon in Iranian hands would be contrary to Russian interests, and so it will not get one,” he stressed.