If U.S. President Donald Trump plans to press Russian President Vladimir Putin at an upcoming summit for help in ousting Iranian troops from Syria, he’ll probably have to take no for an answer.
Analysts and former officials believe that Putin has no interest in removing Iran from the complicated equation in Syria and, even if he wanted to, he probably does not have sufficient leverage to do it.
Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton, said last weekend that the summit offered the possibility of a “larger negotiation on helping to get Iranian forces out of Syria,” where a civil war has raged since 2011.
Bolton said such a deal would amount to “a significant step forward” in promoting U.S. interests in the region, which include curbing Iran’s influence.
But several former officials said the statements revealed a misreading by the Trump administration of Russia’s posture in the region.