Israel concerned by Russia’s military cooperation with Iran

Middle East Monitor  /  June 16, 2023

Tel Aviv has told Russia it is concerned by its military cooperation with Iran in the war in Ukraine and the possibility it is providing advanced weapons to Tehran, the Hebrew Walla news site reported yesterday.

The site quoted three members of the Israeli parliament who participated in a closed door meeting on Tuesday, as saying that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed them that there is dialogue with the Russian government, and that within the framework of this dialogue, the two countries will discuss the situation in an “open and frank” manner.

He added that there are complaints on both sides, adding that Russia expressed concern about the increasing Israeli aid to Ukraine, while Tel Aviv expressed its concern about the growing cooperation between Moscow and Iran.

“We don’t know how the Russians are paying the Iranians for their military assistance,” Netanyahu said, according to the lawmakers.

According to Netanyahu, one of the reasons Israel has rejected the requests to supply Ukraine with air and missile defence systems like the Iron Dome was due to concerns the sensitive technology could fall into Russian hands and then be given to Iran, which would be able to reverse engineer it and learn how to overcome it, the lawmakers said.

Last month, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said, “Israel supports Ukraine morally”, while taking into account Russia’s influence in the Middle East and the Jewish community’s interests in Russia.