Iran May Be Wearing Out Its Welcome in Syria and Iraq

(Commentary) Evelyn Gordon - Iran seems to be wearing out its welcome even in the Arab countries with which it is most closely allied. In Syria, Shiite Iran has been the mainstay of the Assad regime ever since civil war erupted in 2011. Yet a study of official Syrian textbooks for 2017-18 by the IMPACT-se research institute finds that they portray Iran as "lukewarm at best." The curriculum revolves around Syria's position as an integral part of the "Arab homeland," to which non-Arab Iran emphatically doesn't belong. The textbooks say the Arab world suffered "cultural domination" by the Persian Empire and, at times, Arab lands were even under "Persian occupation." The books list Iran's Khuzestan province as one of "the usurped areas of the Arab homeland." In Shi'ite-majority Iraq, recent protests have repeatedly targeted Iranian-affiliated organizations. In July, protesters torched a base belonging to the Iranian-backed militia Kata'ib Hizbullah. They also raided the Najaf airport and ransacked planes belonging to Iran. Both Syria and Iraq are still dependent on Iran, but its goal of Mideast domination may face more obstacles than were apparent a few years ago.

2018-07-24 00:00:00

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