Opinion: What is Syria’s new field for Russia and Iran?
Syria; the country that has been witnessed a global quasi war in the last ten years, and has been a huge turbulence square between Takfiri groups on the one side and the Resistance forces on the other side. With spreading the protests against Bashar Assad’s (Syrian president) in 2012 and turning it into a terrible war, that displaced millions of families, and left thousands of dead and wounded people, not only did not any help to improving the situation at that time, but also it led that the groups that had no connection with the historical background of this country, seek their own share from Syria. On the other side of the square, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia presented to support from Bashar al-Assad; because falling of Bashar al-Assad was putting Syria in the hands of countries and groups that were following their own interests, not the stability and security of the Syrian people.
The war was over and there were many conflicts in Syria between the opposition and the proponents. The Takfiri and Western media considered merely the cause of Russia and Iran presence material interests, and were considering both of them as the main reason of the chaos in Syria. These days, Syria bears the pressure for reforming its political structure, simultaneous with confronting with remains of ISIS, al-Nusrah, and Ahrar al-Shaam in Idlib, Homs, northwest with Turkey inside the country and foreign countries; and two main allies, Iran and Russia are from the influential components in this field.
Russia; internal difference and Moscow decision for supporting from Syria
After the war with ISIS, many politicians in Russia believed that Russia should withdraw from the Syrian battlefield immediately, so that the Syrian people and protesters to decide about the continuation of Syrian process. They say the Syrian protesters that have now laid down their weapons, will never be destroyed by war and killing; and this gap between the people and the government will finally lead to the fall of Bashar al-Assad. The Russian politicians claim that Russia needs economic cooperation with Syria in the future, so it should act in the way that the next Syrian government does not oppose completely with Russians.
Entering of the Russian researchers into the debate have had made significant progress. Russian researchers in international relations, Antuan Mordasov and Kirill Simonov have published a joint article with significant title of “Russia without Assad.”
This article has done a comprehensive study about the contracts between Moscow and Damascus, and have classified its phases between Russian merchant criticism; that the focus in it was on corruption and available barriers in developing of economic activity between Russia and Syria. This study represents the failure of the Syrian regime in managing of the current step and its inability for facing with the internal terrible situation. So, the suggestion of this article was that Moscow interests are in changing its relations with Syria, or the falling of Bashar al-Assad. But that’s not all. On the other hand, there are politicians and researchers that consider supporting from Bashar al-Assad’s Syria and reinforcement of economic cooperation with it, as the important strategy of Russia in the coming decade, and believe that this interaction should never be distorted.
On Monday, May 25, Vladimir Putin appointed Alexander Yefimov, the ambassador of this country to Damascus, as his special envoy for the development of relations with Syria. This appointment is important, because in addition to the ambassador that is responsible for coordinating internal affairs and communicating between Syrian and Russian officials, the Russian deputy foreign minister Alexander Lavrentyev is his country’s special envoy in Syrian affairs and is supervisor of Russian delegation in peace talks.
Also at a higher level, Mikhail Bogdanov, one of the other Russian deputy foreign minister, is Putin special envoy in the Middle East and North Africa region.
In the section of developing the military presence, on May 29 Putin with signing an instruction, wanted the ministry of defense and foreign affairs that by negotiating with the Syrian government, Moscow can have more access to military facilities in Syria.
So, apart from the lack of internal unity and the analysis that are opponent to Moscow function with Damascus, it seems that Russia has set a long-term perspective, so that beside showing itself as a peacemaker and anti-terrorism country, to keep itself in the western Asia region by cooperating with Syria; and gain the most of interest at the post-war suitable economic market. It is worth mentioning that China is one of the serious economic rivals for Russia in the markets such as Syria and Iraq; and therefore Russia should try to maintain its economic market, beside being successful in repelling the terrorists and keeping Bashar al-Assad.
Will the Islamic Republic of Iran leave the Syria?
We said before that Iran and Russia are two major allies of Syria, and due to the influential role they played in facing with ISIS terrorism, the Syrian government wants the continuation of activities and interactions between these three countries. Recently, there were rumors in the media that it was announcing of an agreement between Iran and Russia for puting aside Bashar al-Assad. The Western and Arab opposition media intensely blackmailed in this space, and some of activists and the Syrian people took a strong stance against this joint decision. Because the independence that they had fought years for it, is now between the foreign actors and they decide.
Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah in his speech on Ramadan 19 called these rumors unrealistic and said: “Iran, Lebanese Hezballah and Resistance groups came and fought in Syria, but Iran does not enter into any conflict with anyone for increasing its infiltrate and has no problem with Russia and has no greed in Syria. Iran’s aim is keeping Syria’s identity and prevent it from accepting the hegemony, and Iran’s firm decision is supporting from the Syrian leadership and its decisions and stability. Also, Iran’s goal in Syria has been preventing the US and Israel from dominating Syria, and this country has never intervened in Syria internal affairs.
The Islamic Republic of Iran cooperation with the Syrian government in the fighting against terrorism and prevention from this religious sedition is clear for everyone. On the other side, Israel wants to pave the way for Iran’s withdrawal, by imposing pressure on the Syrian government. The alliance between Iran and Syria is a strong supporter for defensing of Hezballah against Israel, and the Resistance axis will have serious problems, with cutting the connection with Syria. So, it’s obvious that domination system, with the financial support of the Persian Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar to revivr terrorists in Syria, and Israel is trying to achieve its aim that is Iran’s withdrawal from Syria by scattered airstrikes. So, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s ten years effort for failure of the Zionist-American ISIS project will be virtually destroyed.
In the trade section, the Islamic Republic was doing significant exchanges with Syria. In 2010 (before starting of the civil war in Syria), the export range between Iran and Syria reached to 515 dollars million , that with the starting of civil war in Syria and its spreading to most of the country, caused that Iran’s exports to Syria in 2014, be reduced to about 100 thousand of dollars. Although, in 2016, exports between Iran and Syria recorded a little improvement and reached 145 million dollars; but there is still a long distance to reaching the 2010 record.
So, the strategic cooperation between Iran and Syria in the security, political and the economic section will cause the failure of the enemies in the region and the growth of the Resistance axis, and this withdrawal will never occur.