if anyone can prevent a war between Iran and Israel, it might be Vladimir Putin.
The Russian president hosted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the annual Red Square military parade, hours before Israeli forces struck dozens of Iranian targets inside Syria.
Netanyahu did his best to please, wearing on his lapel a brown-and-black St. George’s ribbon, a symbol of Russian World War II remembrance that has come to be the banner of the Kremlin’s intervention in Ukraine.
He had a big ask: That Putin not deliver advanced air-defense missiles to Syria, a move that could threaten Israel’s aerial dominance.
For now, Moscow seems willing to let the Jewish state mount limited strikes. While Iran is a key ally in the Syrian war, the Kremlin doesn’t want it to get too powerful. Russian officials are also worried about the risk of escalation, especially with thousands of Russian troops based there.
Putin has a vested interest in keeping Iran in his corner, and is sending a top diplomat today to Tehran for talks.