Pro-Kremlin Russian experts commented on the upcoming trilateral meeting of the National Security Advisors from the United States, Israel, and Russia, in Jerusalem, which will focus on Iran's influence in the Middle East region. According to pro-Kremlin Russian experts, Russia should not join the US and Israel in the anti-Iran camp and should not help in reducing Tehran's influence in Syria.
Furthermore, Russian experts stressed that at the moment it is impossible to trust the US and be certain that Washington will make a good offer to compensate Russia for its help. Hence, the expert assessment is that the safe choice for Russia is not to betray Iran.
Below is an overview of comments by pro-Kremlin Russian experts:
Russian Expert Veselov: Who Is Going To Believe The Americans At The Moment? To Betray Iran Means Betraying Ourselves
Russian military expert Yuri Veselov wrote in the Russian media outlet Inforos.ru, which generally reflects pro-government views, that the US and Israel believe that they have effective levers of influence on Russia to help them in reducing Iran's influence in Syria. However, Veselov is curious to know how the US is ready to compensate Russia for its help. Veselov added:
"First of all, all this looks like chimerical. Promises, pledges, positive tone… Any decision to lift the sanctions [against Russia] is under American congressional authority, Bolton as high ranking a State Department official [sic] as he might be, does not decide these issues. That is true also even if one takes into consideration Israel’s influence over the administration and the Senate.
"Secondly, Syria, as a major actor, is excluded from the negotiations. So, one should understand: in case there are any agreements they will have no legal judicial status and the sides will be free in the fulfillment of their obligations.
"The last thing. Who is going to believe the Americans at the moment? The relations between Russia and Iran are not the most serene, yet Iran plays a very positive role in Syria, without which things would be a lot more difficult for Russia. To betray Syria and Iran means betraying oneself. Moscow will never go for such a deal…"
(Inforus.ru, June 4, 2019)
Russian Scholar Naumkin: I Don't Trust Americans
Russian scholar Vitaly Naumkin, director of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Science, said: "Frankly, I don't trust Americans, because they are biased against Syria and are not ready for a full rehabilitation of Damascus. Most importantly, we [Russia] are not ready to fall out with Iran [because of a deal with the US and Israel]. Moreover, [Bashar] al-Assad in not inclined to such a move[i.e. a pullout of Iranian forces from Syria]."
(Iz.ru, June 4, 2019)
Expert Cyril Jawlah: Without Iranian Support, Russian Private Military Forces Will Be Unable To Control The Liberated Areas In Syria
Tsargrad.tv, a conservative Orthodox Christian TV channel in Russia, published an article, claiming that the US is planning to reduce Russia's influence as a global player, after having used Moscow against Iran in Syria. Tsargrad.tv explained that the strengthening of Iranian influence in the Middle East, along with the emergence of Russia are two major regional problems for the Trump administration.
Commenting on the upcoming trilateral meeting, Tsargrad.tv quoted expert Cyril Jawlah, editor of the "Realist" news Agency, who argued that helping the Americans eject Iran from Syria would prove counterproductive for Russia.
Jawlah stated: "Without Iranian support, Assad’s military and the small part of the Russian special operations and the private military companies will not be able to control the liberated areas. After the Americans and the Israelis will solve the Iranian issue, they will come after Russia. Moscow will be unable to resist, and thus all the achievements gained in Syria will be nullified."
(Tsargrad.tv, June 3, 2019)
Russian Senator Dzhabarov: 'Who Will Fight Against Terrorists In Syria, If Iran Leaves?'
Senator Vladimir Dzhabarov (United Russia Party), first deputy chair of the Federation Council's International Affairs Committee, Russian Federation, said: "… Who will fight against terrorists in Syria, if the Iranians leave? The Americans, or what? In the area of Idlib, where there are constant attacks against Syrian and the Russian military units, who will fight?"
(Iz.ru, June 4, 2019)
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 8111, Russia-US-Israel Meeting – Russian Expert Frolov: Moscow Willing To Play A Notable Mediation Role Between The US And Iran; The Question Is What Moscow Is Going To Get From Trump For This Service, June 11, 2019.
MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 8113, Russian Expert Mirzayan: 'Dumping' Iran Would Be Mistaken, Since Russia Doesn't Know What The US Will Offer In Return, June 12, 2019.