Nov. 24, 2015
- Iran Is Part of the Problem in Syria, Not Part of the Solution – Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall
The U.S. is now leaving the Syrian arena to Russian and Iranian military and political involvement. Iran is part of the problem in Syria, but the West now sees it as part of the solution. Iran is greatly encouraged by several key developments, including Russia’s involvement in Syria, the beginning of the nuclear agreement’s implementation, the first breaches in the sanctions, and by being cast as a regional actor that can help settle the region’s problems.
Iran has headed the list of terror-supporting states for years. It is now awarded the status of a partner in trying to settle the Syrian crisis even as it continues to support Hizbullah (officially designated a terror organization by the U.S. and Europe) and other terror groups in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere. The West’s agreement to include Iran in seeking a solution in Syria may help defeat the Islamic State, but it will create a greater problem in the long term in light of Iran’s ambitious plans for regional hegemony.
The writer, an expert on strategic issues with a focus on Iran, terrorism, and the Middle East, is a senior analyst at the Jerusalem Center and at Alcyon Risk Advisors. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)