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(June 23, 2019 / JNS) U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton landed in Jerusalem on Saturday ahead of a tripartite summit of top security officials from Israel, the United States and Russia on Sunday.
While the meeting between Bolton, Israeli National Security Council head Meir Ben-Shabbat and Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev was initially set to discuss security issues pertaining to Iran’s entrenchment in Syria, the focus is now expected to shift to recent escalation in tension between the United States and Iran.
On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the summit “historic and unprecedented” and said it “greatly attests to the current international standing of Israel among the nations.”
Israel’s Kan public broadcaster reported that Israel and the United States are expected to offer Russia various incentives in exchange for their support in limiting Iran’s influence in Syria.
Bolton met with Netanyahu Sunday morning in Jerusalem.
At the meeting, Netanyahu asserted that the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the United States had empowered the Islamic Republic and emboldened it.
“When the sanctions against Iran were lifted because of the nuclear deal and the money began to flow in, Iranian aggression surged,” said Netanyahu. “Anyone who says that this aggressiveness began only now is living in a different reality.”
Bolton commented on the Thursday decision of U.S. President Donald Trump to cancel retaliatory strikes on Iran, warning “neither Iran nor any other hostile actor should mistake U.S. prudence and discretion for weakness.”
“No one has granted them a hunting license in the Middle East,” he added. “Our military is rebuilt new and ready to go.”
Last Wednesday night, Iranian forces downed a US surveillance drone the US said was flying over international waters. Earlier this month, two tankers from Norway and Japan were attacked in the Gulf of Oman, driving up oil prices. The US blamed Iran for the attacks.