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How Wagner’s Mutiny in Russia Impacts Iran’s Threat to Israel – Analysis

Wagner’s attempted coup in Russia could be a paradigm shift for how the Ukraine-Russia war impacts Israeli security regarding Iran.

For the moment, the world-shaking potential coup by the Russian Wagner Group against Russian President Vladimir Putin has ended.

Putting aside whether Wagner or Putin will return to fighting each other in the future, the event could be a paradigm shift for how the Russia-Ukraine war impacts Israeli security in terms of threats from Iran.

Since Moscow attacked Kyiv in February 2022: the war has alternately delayed an Iranian nuclear deal, because suddenly Putin was at odds with the Biden administration and the West; caused rampant fear in Israel that Russia would end Israeli air operations against Iranian proxies in Syria; delayed the Iran nuclear deal again last October, when it was revealed that Tehran provided drones to Putin and caused fear that Russia will provide new dangerous weapons to the Islamic Republic in exchange for the sale of drones.

From a security perspective, some of these trends have seemed to be to Israel’s advantage and some clearly not, without getting into the wider impact on Israel-Russia relations regarding the Jewish Agency and other issues.

How does the Wagner Group coup attempt in Russia impact Israel and the Iran issue?

What happens now?

First, nothing may change for Israel. Putin may stay in power and continue the war with Ukraine despite the Wagner almost-coup weakening his position.

This could continue the trend of the Russia-Ukraine war pressuring against a wider nuclear deal between the West and Iran, something which would please Israel. But it could maintain the security threat issue in Syria and of additional Russian military aid to Iran.

Such military aid could include new cyber weapons, the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system, new advanced Russian aircraft or even advances in the nuclear weapons field.

Or a lot could change, were a weakened Putin to lead to the Ukraine war ending or even fizzling out without an official conclusion. Russia might start to work more cooperatively again with the US on the Iran issue.

Israel would not be happy about that.

But Putin, or someone else who might replace him, might also relax tensions with Israel over Syria, since Jerusalem’s support for Ukraine would start mattering less.

Likewise, if Ukraine starts to matter less, Russia may feel less of a need to fully reimburse Iran with new weapons, and may suffice with paying them money.

This may be the most important impact Moscow could have on Israeli security, since the nuclear issue has many parties involved, and only Russia can disrupt the weapons balance by giving Iran new Russian weapons – or preserve the balance by showing restraint.

There are also some wild scenarios. Some fear that, if Putin is toppled, some of Russia’s nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists or rogue states or groups. This would be the worst-case scenario for Israel and the West.

In short, it is too early to know which way the wind will blow for how the dynamics in Moscow will impact Israeli security regarding Iran and Syria, but the Jewish state needs to keep a close eye on the issue as we approach this potential tipping point.

Source: The Jerusalem Post