President Hassan Rouhani said this week that the co-sponsors of the peace talks opening in Astana on Monday — Iran, Russia and Turkey — were the only powers with the influence to turn the fragile ceasefire between the Syrian government and rebels into a lasting settlement.
But resolving the different interests and plans of the co-sponsors will prove tricky.
For Iran, the priority is to ensure the survival of longtime ally President Bashar al-Assad, or at least a carefully managed transition that stops Syria falling into the hands of extremists or a government that sides with its rivals in Saudi Arabia and the United States.
It also wants to maintain a secure land route across Iraq and Syria to Lebanon, where its ally Hezbollah sits on the frontline of its longer-term concern: Israel.
“The war in Syria is not seen as a civil war in Tehran. It’s rather perceived as a micro world war determining the geopolitics of the Middle East,” said Adnan Tabatabai, Iran analyst and CEO of Germany-based think tank CARPO.
“Tehran is convinced that Israel would have carried out air strikes against Iranian nuclear sites… if Hezbollah did not exist as a deterrence on the Israeli-Lebanese border,” Tabatabai said.
“So access to Hezbollah and maintaining the so-called ‘axis of resistance’ through Syrian territory is a key priority for Iran.”
– ‘Tactical partners’ –
Negotiations between Iran and Turkey, which has been on the opposing side in the war as a backer of Islamist rebel groups, were always going to be thorny.
More surprising have been the cracks starting to emerge in Tehran’s ties with Moscow, which has been the other chief supporter of Assad.
Iran is worried that Russia appears to be shifting its allegiance towards Turkey: working with Turkish forces against the Islamic State group and excluding Iran from initial ceasefire talks in northern Syria.
Ali Vaez, of the International Crisis Group, said Iran and Russia were only ever “tactical partners, not strategic allies”.
“Russia doesn’t appear to share Iran’s key priorities in Syria. Not only does Assad appear more dispensable to Russia than he is to Iran, but Russian officials also appear more comfortable with the concept of federalism in Syria than their Iranian counterparts,” said Vaez.
— Syria talks – Syria talks – Syria talks – Syria talks
Iran Briefing | News Press Focus on Human Rights Violation by IRGC, Iran Human Rights
Sep 19, 2018 Comments Off on Foreign Office warns dual nationals not to go to Iran
Sep 17, 2018 Comments Off on Trump must start helping Iran’s minorities achieve regime change
Sep 13, 2018 Comments Off on Canadian MPs call on Ottawa to stand with Kurds after Iran missile attack
Sep 11, 2018 Comments Off on U.N. Presses Iran to Free Princeton Scholar
Sep 23, 2018 Comments Off on Children Of Detained Human Rights Lawyer Harassed By Intelligence Agents
Sep 20, 2018 Comments Off on Iran dismisses U.S. offer of talks, says Washington broke last deal
Sep 18, 2018 Comments Off on Activists Arrested After Mass Strike in Iran’s Kurdistan Province Against “Revenge” Executions
Sep 12, 2018 Comments Off on From Evin Prison, Attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh Condemns Iran’s Execution of Three Kurdish Prisoners
Sep 20, 2018 Comments Off on Iran dismisses U.S. offer of talks, says Washington broke last dealIran dismisses U.S. offer of talks, says Washington broke last deal Iran dismisses U.S. offer of talks, says Washington broke last deal Iran hit back at a U.S. offer of negotiations on Thursday, saying Washington had...
Sep 19, 2018 Comments Off on Foreign Office warns dual nationals not to go to IranForeign Office warns dual nationals not to go to Iran Foreign Office warns dual nationals not to go to Iran The British Foreign Office has warned all UK/Iranian dual nationals not to travel to Iran unless they have an...
Jul 14, 2016 Comments Off on Corps’ one hundred thousand of triggered missiles in Lebanon:An official Israel-threatening by CorpsIran Briefing: Since August 7, 1979, when Ayatollah Khomeini declared the last Friday of Ramadhan as “Quds Day”, the Islamic Republic has always tried to hold an imposing ceremony by using state resources as well as requiring people’s involvement. This year’s Quds march had fundamental...