Israeli media scolds Bibi on "futile" visit to Moscow
Agence France-Presse reported Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Moscow Wednesday to urge Russia to take "a harder line" on nuclear negotiations with Iran has "fallen flat."
According to AFP's Israeli media sources at right-leaning Maariv newspaper, Netanyahu's trip left "no lasting impression" on Russian President Vladimir Putin. "When the two men gave their joint press conference (Wednesday), it appeared Putin's statement had been given to journalists in advance, and he only changed certain passages afterwards to make them more palatable to Netanyahu," it said.
Bibi had flown to Moscow as part of a final effort to discourage a nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers. However, the Russian leader had already called Iranian president Hassan Rouhani earlier in the week and expressed that he hoped an agreement could be reached among the parties in Geneva.
Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot seemed to scold Bibi saying, "Every reader knows Putin supports and will continue to support the ayatollahs' regime in Iran. If there's the slightest chance of persuading world powers to take a harsher line on Iran, Israel should engage in discreet dialogue (with the US), instead of bickering publicly with Washington."
Left-leaning daily Haaretz further described Netanyahu's visit as "futile."
Following his meeting in Moscow, Netanyahu compared the case of Iran to Syria, saying that Tehran needs to stop and destroy its nuclear work in the same manner that Syria has facilitated processes to destroy its chemical weapon arsenal.
Israel represents the only (though undeclared) nuclear-armed state in the region.
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