July 9, 2008

REAL REALISM (via Jim Yates):

Signs Point to Impending Syrian Breakaway From Iran (SANA ABDALLAH, 7/08/09, Middle East Times)

Speculation is growing that Syria is ready to distance itself from Iran and come to the Western fold if the United States and its allies ultimately reward Damascus with political, financial and military support.

Officially Damascus insists that its third-party negotiations with Israel, held through Turkish mediation, and which are expected to soon be upgraded to face-to-face talks, are not taking place at the expense of its strong strategic relationship with Tehran.

But leaked information says otherwise. [...]

"Syria will abandon Iran as soon as it can," according to Lebanese political analyst George Alam, who added that Damascus can do without Iran in financial terms.

He told the Middle East Times Syria would quickly receive additional assistance from U.S.-allied, oil-rich Arab Gulf states, so the Arab country was not losing much by giving up its relationship with Iran.

Other commentators say that ideologically, the secular Baathist Arab regime in Syria has little in common with Iran's Persian and Shiite Islamic revolutionary leaders – another factor that raises speculation of Syria shifting its alliances and improving its strained ties with some of the powerful U.S.-allied Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Alam argued that the Syrian-backed Hezbollah – Iran's closest ally in Lebanon – was aware it would be the "first to pay a price" in any progress being made in the Syrian-Israeli negotiations and a future rapprochement with the United States, which labels Hezbollah as a "terrorist" organization.

The Ba'athist regime has natural enemies in Hezbollah and Iran and desperately needs the West to prop up its brutal dictatorship. We should give them nothing, but regime change.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 9, 2008 9:00 AM
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