y INU Staff
INU - Iranian Defence Minister Amir Hatami said last week that Iran wants to “strengthen Syria’s military arsenal” and help it “expand its military equipment”, following a trip to Damascus, according to by the state-run Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA).
He said that Iran’s “trying to pave the way for the next phase of cooperation”, but what is this phase and could it mean Iran’s withdrawal from Syria?
Simply, that’s unlikely. After all, Israeli shelling, Russian declarations, and even US promises have failed to separate Iran and Syria, so it’s unlikely that Iran will leave of its own free will now.
After all, their relationship goes back to the 1980s, during the Iranian-Iraqi war, when the Syrian regime allied with the Iranian one. This relationship almost ended in the late 1990s, then-Syrian leader Hafez al-Assad sought to rebuild a relationship with Iraq, Turkey, and Israel, which very nearly became an official agreement at the UN. Unfortunately, Israel obstructed signing the deal, stating that Assad’s health was declining and it was afraid of Syria’s future after him.
After Bashar al-Assad took power, the Syrian-Iranian relationship deepened in secret. This was confirmed when Israel withdrew from South Lebanon, a move that was conditional on the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, but Syria did not move from the country where the Iranian-backed Hezbollah had control. Iran and Syria actually deepened their presence in Lebanon.
Abdulrahman al-Rashed, the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel, wrote: “They executed a wave of assassinations and the two regimes almost completely dominated the country.
There was no longer any doubt that there is a special relationship between Damascus and Tehran after the two allies’ cooperation in adopting the Iraqi resistance and supporting terror groups in Iraq, including al-Qaeda, Al-Zaraqawi and ISIS later became clear. Later on, the term “the rise of the Shiite crescent” emerged.”
The attempts to get Iran out of Syria are failing because the two rogue regimes have a strong relationship, so how should the international community work to remove Iran from Syria?
Well, the US has already begun a two-pronged assault. Iran’s removal from Syria is one of the conditions for removing sanctions on Iran that are currently crippling the country and one of the conditions for allowing the Assad Regime to stay in power and not be taken out by the US-backed forces. This could work. Add to that Israel’s attacks on Iran’s forces in Syria and soon you see that they will have little choice.
However, Rashed cautions: “Theoretically, the Iranian forces’, Hezbollah’s and others forces’ exit seems like the expected result but who will believe Iran is willing to cooperate and withdraw after all the massive human and financial losses it endured in Syria’s war? Its withdrawal will be considered a free defeat and will weaken the Tehran government’s negotiating capability with Israel and the US.”
Well, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Iranian Regime is willing to sacrifice thousands more fighters and millions more dollars to stay in Syria, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be evicted. They should have been removed years ago, so the sooner the Iranian Regime leaves, the better it will be.
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