Oct. 10, 2016
- Iran’s Game Plan in Syria: A Path to the Mediterranean – Martin Chulov
After 12 years of conflict in Iraq and an even more savage conflict in Syria, Iran is now closer than ever to securing a land corridor that will anchor it in the region – and potentially transform the Islamic Republic’s presence on Arab lands. A European official who has monitored Iran’s role in both wars for the past five years said, “They will be able to move people and supplies between the Mediterranean and Tehran whenever they want, and they will do so along safe routes that are secured by their people, or their proxies.”
The route weaves across Iraq, through the Kurdish north into Kurdish north-eastern Syria and through the battlefields north of Aleppo, where Iran and its allies are prevailing on the ground. The plan also involves demographic shifts, which have already taken place in central Iraq and are underway in northern Syria.
Ali Khedery, who advised all U.S. ambassadors to Iraq in 2003-11, said Iran’s securing a Mediterranean link “should trouble every Western leader and our regional allies because this will further embolden Iran to continue expanding, likely into the Gulf countries next, a goal they have explicitly and repeatedly articulated. Why should we expect them to stop if they’ve been at the casino, doubling their money over and over again, for a decade?” (Guardian-UK)