Russian president claims both Syria and Iran independent states and Russia not responsible for Iran’s withdrawal from Syria; Trump Administration may place sanctions on Russia and Iranian companies involved in post-war reconstruction in Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Iran’s withdrawal from Syria is not Russia’s responsibility while announcing Russia will soon deploy hypersonic weapons.
Speaking at a foreign policy forum in Sochi Thursday, Putin claimed that it is up to Syria and Iran, both “independent countries”, to decide whether Iran withdraws from Syria. He claimed while Russia helped negotiate Iran’s withdrawal from southern Syria, that “Syria and Iran are both independent countries. They need to build their relationship on their own.”
Putin also announced that Russia would deploy its latest hypersonic weapon, the “Avangard”, in the coming months, claiming, however, that Russia would not initiate any strikes and would only retaliate if attacked. He stated “The aggressor should know that retaliation is inevitable, and he will be destroyed… We [Russia] would be victims of an aggression and would get to heaven as martyrs…”
On Russia’s advanced capabilities with its hypersonic weapons, he stated “We have run ahead of the competition. No one has precision hypersonic weapons and others are planning to start testing them within the one-and-a-half to two years. We already have them on duty.”
Reports surfaced that the Trump Administration may place sanctions on both Russian and Iranian companies involved in reconstruction in Syria following its civil war in efforts to curb Iran’s influence and efforts in Syria.
The Unites States on Tuesday passed additional sanctions on two Iranian banks as well some companies, including a tractor and a steel company supporting the Basij, a subordinate of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed the sanctions were placed on networks providing “financial infrastructure to the Basij’s efforts to recruit, train, and indoctrinate child soldiers who are coerced into combat under the IRGC’s direction.”
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zari denounced the most recent wave of sanctions and claimed the United States has an “addiction to sanctions” and that sanctions passed are a violation of international law and an “utter disregard for rule of law and human rights of an entire people.”
A spokesman for Putin claimed on Thursday that US-Russian relations would suffer a “deterrent” during the upcoming US midterm elections. He claimed “To sacrifice Russia and Russian-US relations on an altar of the internal politics is a US national entertainment. It is likely to happen now… There is no doubt about this.”
Amir will give a Middle East Current Events Update on Friday. Tune in at 22:00 (Israel time).