The Corner

Putin: Don’t Worry About It

According to former Spanish prime minister José Maria Aznar, Vladimir Putin expects Israel’s military to deal with Iran successfully:

Don’t worry about Iran, Israel will take care of it, former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin as telling him years ago.

Aznar, speaking Wednesday at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on a meeting he had with the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in 2002, said Putin’s comments came after he entreated him not to sell S300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran.

“We can sell them anything,” Aznar quoted Putin as saying, because in the end “Israel will take care of it.”

Eventually Russia did agree not to sell Iran the anti-aircraft missiles, but this incident is an intriguing glimpse into Putin’s mindset. He seems to view both Iran and Israel as mere pawns in Russia’s geopolitical game, and the potential ramifications of a war in the Middle East appear not to concern him. Perhaps for Putin it’s all just business — if Israel destroys Iran’s military, then Russia can make more money selling the Iranians new equipment.

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