U.S. Diplomat Views Syria, Iran and Russia

(Syria Direct-Jordan) Amb. Frederic C. Hof interviewed by Manar Rachwani - For Iran, Bashar al-Assad and his entourage are an absolutely essential pillar of Iranian foreign policy, while there is practically no sentiment at all in Syria for subordinating this proud country to Iran. Hizbullah's presence and status in Lebanon are the jewel in the crown of Iranian foreign policy, and the Iranians see Assad as absolutely essential for the preservation of Hizbullah. On the other hand, it is becoming increasingly clear to Russian insiders that Bashar al-Assad and his entourage represent a liability for Russian interests in Syria and the region more broadly. While President Putin argues that support for Assad puts Russia back on the world stage as a great power, in terms of the objective interests of the Russian state, I think Assad is more than expendable. In the Obama administration and in particular with the president, there was faith in the proposition that by signing the nuclear agreement, Iran would begin to modify its other regional policies. Many of us believed from the beginning that this was false, that it was not going to happen. And I think it's a lesson learned. U.S. Ambassador Frederic C. Hof, former director of the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, served as a special adviser for transition in Syria under President Barack Obama.

2020-07-16 00:00:00

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