American congressmen protect Israel from Russia
On May 20, members of the House of Representatives and the Senate asked Donald Trump to make sure that Israel receives adequate support and material assistance from the United States to maintain its geopolitical superiority in the Middle East, as reported by The Jerusalem Post.
The congressmen also demanded that the president exert diplomatic and economic pressure on Russia and Iran, so that the latter would stop supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad, as well as impose new sanctions against Iran’s ally, Hezbollah.
400 of the 535 members of Congress, including the leading legislators in the field of foreign policy: Eliot Engel, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, and James Rish, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, signed the statement.
The concern of US lawmakers is caused by the withdrawal of US troops from Syria announced in December. Without the support of the Pentagon, the influence of Tel Aviv’s worst enemy of Iran in neighboring Syria may increase. The Israeli air force repeatedly subjected to air strikes and bombing attacks Syrian territory. And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded that the pro-Iranian militia immediately withdraw from the Arab country.
Moscow can not risk
In meetings with Vladimir Putin, one of which took place on the eve of the parliamentary elections in Israel, Netanyahu again raised the issue of the Iranian presence in Syria. However, Moscow is still unable to influence Tehran, because it regards it as its main ally in the fight against militants and enemies of Bashar Assad. If the Sochi agreements of Russia with Turkey on Idlib do not give a result, without Iranian support for Russia, it will be difficult to squeeze “Hayat Tahrir ash-Sham” from the last stronghold of the opposition. Therefore, at this stage, Moscow does not risk spoiling relations with Tehran.
The alliance with Iran and the support of Bashar Assad prevent Moscow from listening to Tel Aviv's "aspirations." At the same time, Russia understands that the American-Iranian clashes due to Israel can cause chaos in the region. At a meeting with the Austrian President, Vladimir Putin expressed concern about Iran’s partial withdrawal from the “nuclear deal” and made it clear that “Russia cannot save everything.”
The demands of congressmen to punish Moscow for Israel contradict Washington’s intention to cooperate with Russia on a Syrian settlement, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a recent meeting with Sergey Lavrov and Vladimir Putin in Sochi. As for the sanctions, Iran and Syria have nothing to lose. Against them are all sorts of restrictions on the part of the Americans. In November last year, the United States imposed sanctions on Russian companies that allegedly participate in the secret sale of Iranian oil to Syria. Whether Trump goes beyond these measures will depend on the situation in the region. The American president announced his readiness to negotiate with the Iranian leadership, which means that the White House will not hurry with the request of Congress to punish Russia and Iran for Israel. However, this does not prevent Washington from striking Moscow in another place - Europe. Energy Minister Rick Perry has already announced the preparation of US sanctions against the Nord Stream - 2.