With Russia an influential voice in the international debate on Iran, the outcome of the 24-hour visit could have deep implications for whether Israel decides to strike Tehran’s nuclear facilities or give the international community more time to find a diplomatic solution to the standoff.
In a brief statement after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr. Putin said that their talks covered the situation in Iran and the bloody uprising in Syria, and that he saw negotiations as the only solution for such matters.
Mr. Netanyahu countered with far more detail.
“We agree that nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran pose a grave danger, first for Israel but also for the region and the whole world,” he said. “Two things need to be done now: We need to bolster the sanctions and bolster the demands.”
Mr. Netanyahu insisted that all uranium enrichment in Iran must cease and its underground nuclear facility near Qom be dismantled. He added that “the killing and horrible suffering of the Syrian people” must be stopped.
Israel has said repeatedly that it would not tolerate a nuclear Iran, and while saying it prefers a diplomatic solution also has hinted of using a military strike as a last resort. Israel itself is widely believed to possess nuclear weapons.
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