Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Iran Says it Will Not Allow Syria's Assad Regime To Fall
An important statement today by a prominent member of the Iranian regime tells us that Assad is going to be in Syria for the long haul:
Saeed Jalili, the head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, appeared with the Syrian leader in Damascus on Tuesday to pledge Iran’s support for the Assad regime.
"Iran will never allow the resistance axis - of which Syria is an essential pillar - to break. What is happening in Syria is not an internal issue but a conflict between the axis of resistance on one hand, and the regional and global enemies of this axis on the other,” he said.
An important thing to remember is that if Jalili is saying this, it is coming directly from Iran's Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei.
For his part, Basher Assad vowed to 'cleanse Syria of terrorists' as his forces continued attacks on rebel forces in the outer neighborhoods of Aleppo, Syria's second largest city:
“The Syrian people and their government are determined to purge the country of terrorists and to fight the terrorists without respite,” he said, according to state news agency SANA.
The Iranians see this clearly as a Sunni vs. Shi'ite war,as well as a key to their regional strategy.They see it as an attempt to thwart Iran by the Saudis, Qatar and the Emirates,who are bankrolling the rebels,and the Americans,who are providing arms. The Iranians frequently add the 'Zionists' into that litany, but Israel is just as unlikely to be arming or aiding the Muslim Brotherhood dominated rebels as the rebels would be willing to accept anything from Jews.
Adding to the mix is Iranian ire over 48 Iranians captured- or kidnapped, depending on your view - by rebel forces. They are said to be members of Iran's elite Qods Force.
In an interesting aside, Jalili said Iran held responsible not only the kidnappers but also those foreign governments that supported the rebels. “We believe that not only terrorists but also their supporters are responsible for this criminal act,” Jalali said.
I suppose we could call this a Persian version of the Bush Doctrine, except that unlike our former president, the Iranians are probably serious.
At this point, Basher Assad is receiving not only aid from Russia but aid and active military support from Hezbollah and Iran, and I have no doubt the Russians would send in troops in limited numbers to protect their Syrian client. In fact, they already have.
The Islamist rebels, in contrast, have money and some arms coming in from the Obama Administration and the GCC countries, but no boots on the ground.
Will President Obama get America into another undeclared war to put a Muslim Brotherhood regime in power? The answer to that question might well provide the fate of the Sunni Syrian rebellion.