Thursday, 30 July 2015

Iran will not compromise on Syria

Thomas Pierret

"For Iran, what is at stake in Syria is both huge and remarkably narrow: it is Hezbollah. For sure, the alliance with Damascus used to mean more than that for the Islamic Republic, namely, a significant foothold in an otherwise largely hostile Arab state system. Yet, as Syria turned into a failed state beyond repair, its status in regional politics shifted from that of key player to everyone’s battlefield. For Iran, therefore, the only value of those parts of Syria that remain controlled by Asad is that they constitute Hezbollah’s strategic depth. 
 There is no political solution in Syria without Iran, but the latter is unlikely to get on board in the foreseeable future. In practice, this leaves Western countries with two options: the first one is to alter the military balance on the ground so as to change Iran’s calculations by making its strategy unsustainable in the short term; the second one is to keep on uttering ritual calls for a negotiated solution during another decade of war."

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