The Enduring Iran-Syria-Hizbullah Axis

(Middle East Forum) Michael Rubin - The Obama administration has reached out diplomatically to both Syria and Iran in the belief that a less confrontational approach to conflict resolution might lead the two states to reconsider their rejectionist behavior. It has not worked. While Tehran and Damascus may welcome the incentives inherent in U.S. engagement, both states continue to use proxies to pursue radical aims and undercut stability. Iran may be Hizbullah's chief patron, but Syria is the lynchpin that makes Iranian support for foreign fighters possible. While Israel may be the immediate target of the Iran-Syria nexus, the partnership threatens broader U.S. interests. Syria's continued support for terrorists and other foreign fighters undermines any diplomatic gains the U.S. achieves. Because of Syria, UN Security Council Resolution 1701 has failed to prevent Hizbullah's rearmament. Recent reports that Iran transshipped gas masks and chemical weapons through Syria to Hizbullah should only heighten concern. Given both the circumstances and the stakes, it is ironic that U.S. officials continue to accept the fiction of Syrian sincerity. The writer is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

2009-12-21 09:15:45

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