Netanyahu to Putin: Shiite Islamic terrorism led by Iran must not replace Islamic State in Syria

Prime Minister Netanyahu traveled to Russia to meet with President Putin Thursday, the meeting set on addressing Iran’s presence and efforts in Syria and the threat it poses to Israel and the region.

The meeting held comes after the United States called on the United Nations to “get Iran and their proxies out” of Syria on Wednesday.

Ahead of their meeting, Netanyahu began by addressing the mutual threat of radical Islam and terror, stating “One of the things that we are fighting against together is radical Islamic terrorism. Of course, there was significant progress last year in the fight against the terrorism of radical Sunni Islam led by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, and Russia has a very important contribution,” adding that “Naturally, we do not want this terrorism to be replaced by the radical Shiite Islamic terrorism led by Iran.”

The Prime Minister went on to state that “The threat of radical Shiite Islam threatens us no less than it does the region and the peace of the world, and I know that we are partners in the desire to prevent any kind of victory by radical Islam of any sort.”

Netanyahu spoke of the upcoming holiday of Purim and the modern threat Iran poses to the Jewish people stating, “Twenty-five hundred years ago in ancient Persia, there was an attempt to wipe out the Jewish nation that was unsuccessful, which is being marked with this holiday [Purim]. Here today in Persia’s successor, Iran, there is another attempt to wipe out the Jewish state. They say this as clearly as possible. They inscribe it on their ballistic missiles,” referring to ballistic missiles tests Iran conducted in March of 2016, with “Israel should be wiped off the Earth” written on one of the two missiles tested.

He went on to speak of Israel’s strength, particularly its army, and ability to defend itself, stating “Today, Israel is a state with an army and we are able to defend ourselves. But the threat of Shiite Islamic extremism is not just a threat to us, but rather to the entire region and world peace. I know that we share the desire to prevent any victory for radical Islam from any direction.”

His meeting comes just after United States UN Ambassador Nikki Haley called on the global community to “get Iran and their proxies out” of Syria.

Speaking to the press following a report given to the United Nations Security Council on Syria, Haley stated that the United States supports the diplomatic process of ending the Syrian civil war, but that Iran must end its efforts in Syria, stating “Syria can no longer be a safe haven for terrorists, we’ve got to make sure we get Iran and their proxies out, we’ve got to make sure that, as we move forward, we’re securing the borders for our allies as well,” referring to Israel.

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, March 9, 2017, and reposted with permission.