The Iranian Role in Syria

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TV/Radio Broadcast BBC
Syria is too important as an Iranian ally for Tehran to engage in a political transition process that would result in the ousting of the Assad regime.
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Speaking on the BBC, Carnegie's Karim Sadjadpour discussed Iran's role in the increasingly sectarian civil war in Syria. For Iran, Syria is its last remaining consistent ally in the international community, Sadjadpour. Thus, for Iran “the results of the Syrian conflict are a zero sum game; they stand to lose in a major way if the Assad regime falls,” he explained. Iran carries significant influence in Syria because of its financial support, its provisions of subsidized oil and arms, and the tactics and strategy it provides. Clearly, Sadjadpour added, the Iranian regime has shared its philosophy of never compromising with a domestic uprising with the Assad regime. Ultimately, the Iranians will continue to “publically call for reform and reconciliation while privately arming the Assad regime,” concluded Sadjadpour. The loss of a firm ally would be too devastating for the Iranian regime for it to plausibly engage in an international effort aimed at a political transition that would remove the Assad regime. 

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About the Middle East Program

The Carnegie Middle East Program combines in-depth local knowledge with incisive comparative analysis to examine economic, sociopolitical, and strategic interests in the Arab world. Through detailed country studies and the exploration of key crosscutting themes, the Carnegie Middle East Program, in coordination with the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, provides analysis and recommendations in both English and Arabic that are deeply informed by knowledge and views from the region. The program has special expertise in political reform and Islamist participation in pluralistic politics.


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