Russia and Iran Have Different Visions of Syria's Future

(Sputnik-Russia) According to Vladimir Sazhin, a senior research fellow at the Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, differences have emerged between Russia and Iran over Syria's future. Russia wants Syria to be a secular state in which minorities and religious groups have equal rights. Iran wants a government in Damascus that would expand Tehran's influence in the region and maintain a logistics corridor for pro-Iran forces including Hizbullah. Since June 2016, Hizbullah has been increasingly against ceasefire agreements in Syria. Moscow has repeatedly proposed to integrate numerous Shiite armed groups into the Syrian military under united command, but each time the offer was rejected. Israel regards Tehran's activities in Syria as a direct threat to its security, and political analyst Anton Mardasov says Israel's concerns over pro-Iranian forces in Syria are reasonable. Moreover, Russia is not happy with Iran's attempt to impose its will on Damascus and establish the basis for further expansion of Shiite influence in the region.

2017-07-27 00:00:00

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