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Iran is in Syria to Stay

AuthorsElizabeth Dent and Ariane M. Tabatabai

Affiliation: Middle East Institute; Alliance for Securing Democracy (the German Marshall Fund) and Columbia University

Organization/Publisher: Foreign Affairs

Date/Place:  December 14, 2020/USA

Type of Literature: Article

Word Count: 1514 

Link: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/israel/2020-12-14/iran-syria-stay

Keywords: Iran, US , Syria

 

Brief:

 

In this article, the authors talk about the assassinations that affected the leaders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard this month, whether on Iranian soil with the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Mahabadi, the academic physicist behind Iran’s former secret nuclear program, who was assassinated near Tehran, or in other countries such as Syria, which the Iranian regime has denied. It has mocked and considered it propaganda of the Western media, and vowed to avenge Fakhrizadeh’s assassination. In the writers’ opinion, the denial operation carried out by Iran is nothing but a cover up of its operations in Syria, as the American president-elect has stated that one of his administration’s priorities is to confront the Iranian presence in Syria. In this article, the authors revisit the nature of Arab-Iranian relations since the Islamic Revolution, which has been in tension and conflict but only reached war in 1980 between Iran and Iraq. However, this tension between Iran and Iraq did not affect the Iranian-Syrian relations, which have started since the assumption of power by Hafez al-Assad (father of current ruler Bashar al-Assad) and remained to this day. Under his son Bahshar al-Assad’s rule, Iran maintained this cooperation in 2011 when the popular movement in Syria began, helping the Assad regime suppress it. The authors believe that the Biden administration should work with Ankara and Moscow to keep Tehran away. The task will not be simple. US-Turkish relations are in poor condition, and Moscow and Ankara fundamentally disagree over which groups should be classified as terrorists. Biden’s administration will inherit a complex dossier on the Middle East, not least because of the tensions between Iran and Israel, including Syria. The new US administration must accept that for the time being, Iran will neither leave Syria completely nor lose its influence there entirely.

 

By: Taqwa Abu Kmeil, CIGA Research Assistant

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