Mossad chief to visit DC for talks on Iran and Syria

Israel has come out against the US and Russian brokered cease-fire in Syria, believing this will allow Iran to remain entrenched in the country.

August 16, 2017 04:10
1 minute read.
Revolutionary Guard

Members of the Iranian revolutionary guard march during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A blue-ribbon Israeli security delegation is expected to travel to Washington later this week for talks focusing on Iran and the situation in Syria.

The American website Axios reported on Sunday that the delegation will meet US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, as well as Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell, special envoy for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and other senior officials.

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Powell, Greenblatt and US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, Jared Kushner, are expected to depart soon on a tour of the Middle East – including Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the US delegation will focus on trying to re-ignite the diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinians.

But the talks in Washington, according to Axios, will not focus on the Palestinian issue, but rather on the situation in Lebanon and Syria.

Israel has come out against the US and Russian brokered cease-fire in Syria, concerned that this will allow Iran to keep its current military positions inside the country.

Haaretz reported that the delegation to the US will be headed by Mossad chief Yossi Cohen and include OC Military Intelligence chief Maj.- Gen. Herzl Halevi, as well as the director of the Defense Ministry’s political-security department, Zohar Palti.

Cohen briefed the cabinet on Sunday about Iran’s moves in the region, including its increasing entrenchment in southern Syria. He said Iran is moving in to fill vacuums in areas of the Middle East created by the retreat of Islamic State, and that its expansion in the region through proxies in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen is currently the central development in the Middle East.

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