How Iran Gains from Assad Victory

(Council on Foreign Relations) Bernard Gwertzman interviews Michael Young - "For the last two years, Assad has been on the defensive, but thanks to Hizbullah and, of course, to aid from Iran and from Iraqi Shiites, he has succeeded in regaining territory and counterattacking." "A few weeks ago, the Syrian regime and Hizbullah took full control of the border area along the Qalamoun district, which is located along the Lebanese border. And that effectively cut off the organic link between the rebels and Lebanon. So the ability to transfer weapons from Lebanon into Syria, the ability of Syrian rebels to go back and forth across the border, was substantially diminished." "Iran is...aware ultimately that it has to come to some kind of an arrangement with the Sunni governments, especially Saudi Arabia. But it would like to be the dominant partner. It realizes that today the Saudis and most of the Gulf states have anemic American support and that's why it's trying to take advantage of this." "The United States today in the Middle East is seen very negatively by its allies, or those who, in the past, would have sympathized with it. There is a perception that the United States...has a policy...that is effectively a policy of disengagement....And for the United States' adversaries in the region, particularly Iran, they saw this as a clear opening to exploit....The Iranians saw no challenge coming from the United States to a predominant Iranian role in the region." Michael Young is Opinion Editor of the Beirut Daily Star.

2014-06-10 00:00:00

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