Iran Regime’s Presence in Syria Is Blocking Progress
By Mohammad Sadat Khansari
The Iranian regime has been involved in the Syrian civil since the very start. Its role there has been nothing but malign and disruptive and it has basically guaranteed that Syrian President Bashar al Assad has more time as the country’s leader. It is almost certain that the Syrian regime and Assad would have fallen a long time ago had Iran not got involved.
Naser al- Hariri, the head of the High Negotiations Committee, an umbrella body that was set up to represent the Syrian opposition during the 2016 Geneva peace talks, has said that Iran is prolonging the crisis in Syria and that it needs to be expelled so that peace talks can continue.
Hariri said that militias directed by Iran were responsible for the recent chemical attack in Aleppo and that Iran is trying to abort the Sochi deal in Idlib. The Sochi agreement between Turkey and Russia on the stabilisation of Syria is supported by the United Nations and the European Union. They expressed hope that implementation would help stabilise the de-escalation zone in Idlib. After meeting in September, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a memorandum of understanding requiring that Idlib's de-escalation zone is stabilised. The memorandum of understanding explicitly states that acts of aggression in the zone are strictly prohibited.
On Saturday 24th November, nine people were killed in the rebel-held Idlib. Insurgent shells wounded scores of people and there were numerous reports of people with breathing difficulties.
The Iranian regime is trying to undermine the efforts to move forward with peace in Syria because it is losing grasp of the control it once had there.
Insurgents have been trying to wreck the Sochi agreement and Iran’s involvement is detrimental to all parties involved. Hariri said: “The Iranian presence in Syria and in the south in particular is unprecedented. Iran has recently established many military sites, headquarters, training centers and others.”
It is very clear that the Iranian regime cannot be part of the solution in Syria and the sooner it is expelled the better. Hariri said: “[Iran is] part of the problem and not part of the solution to the Syrian cause, and any role, decision or attempt to trim or weaken Iran militarily, politically or economically, will have a positive impact on the Syrian file, but these actions alone are not enough.”
As well as facing much international pressure with the U.S. sanctions that are now in place, the Iranian regime is facing a significant amount of domestic pressure. The people of Iran are making loud calls for regime change and they are making it very clear that they will not stop taking to the streets until they have freedom, democracy and human rights.
Unable to control the situation at home, the regime is trying to regain control outside its own borders. Its meddling in the region is the cause of countless deaths and a whole lot of bloodshed across the Middle East. As soon as the regime collapses, the existing conflicts will find a resolution much easier.