IRAN-ISRAEL-SYRIA : THE LESSON OF DAMASCUS !
© IRAN-RESIST.ORG – May 7 2009 | As he was visiting Damascus, Ahmadinejad launched a new virulent attack against Israel by qualifying it as a “destructive microbe”. Such sentiments hurt Jews of course but it would be a mistake to analyze it from this sole point of view and reduce the whole speech to those both words. Such sentiments were pronounced to disrupt the Damascus-Tel Aviv rapprochement. It was a matter of a passionate and exciting speech in terms of analysis.
Syrian context | During the last year, relations between Tehran and Damascus deteriorated : Damascus accepted to dialogue with Israel. Without Syria, the mullahs’ regime will be vulnerable because it will be unable to supply the Hezbollah with weapons and such militia which ensures its interests into the region will lose its influence. Tehran then expressed its discontent but Damascus carried on.
Shortly before this rapprochement, Imad Moughnieh, one of the warlords of the Hezbollah, a man the mullahs like a lot, was killed in Damascus. Into an article dedicated to this assassination and based on information stating that Moughnieh was killed as he was leaving the school of Pasdaran’s children where the conference took place, we attributed such assassination to the mullahs within the framework of their secret dialogue with Washington. At that time, Tehran requested to be associated with the investigation but its request was refused. We then supposed that Tehran wanted to erase the indices of its guilt.
Afterwards in October 2008, we received information according to which on this 12 February -anniversary of the Islamic Revolution- Moughnieh wasn’t leaving this school but an important meeting into the premises of the Mukhabarat, the Syrian services, a building that is located in the same suburb than the Iranian school. The received information attributed the assassination attempt to Syria. At that time, Syria even didn’t start its indirect negotiations with Israel and the information was inclined in favor of intern dissidence into Syrian power. Such negotiations with Turkish mediation started immediately after and it’s on the 23rd April 2008 that we heard first about them. The mysterious death of Moughnieh then took another meaning : a token of Syrian genuineness and the Syrian refusal to let the Pasdaran investigate on the spot evoked also a slow breakdown with Tehran.
Such breakdown was also marked with other events such as the Conference of Annapolis : Tehran boycotted Annapolis but Syria sent a delegation to this meeting that was hostile to the mullahs’ interests. Afterwards the Parisian meeting of the Union for the Mediterranean took place and then there were summer sessions of negotiations between Damascus and Tel Aviv and Syrian announcement of possible direct meetings. By the end of July 2008, Tehran produced and broadcasted on its Arabic-speaking channels a video of Sadate’s assassination by way of warning to those who come to terms with the enemy right before Assad’s official visit to Tehran. On the spot, the Syrian president maintained his decision to continue the dialogue with Israel against Tehran’s will.
Before his return to Damascus, Assad’s trustworthy man, the General Muhammad Suleiman who was also the chief of the Syrian president’s personal security, was shot down by a sniper on Syrian territory. The images of this day are very evocative : Assad is dejected, shattered and distraught while on his side Ahmadinejad is smiling. We then assisted in successive actions of mutual reprisals and in the meantime in pursuit of negotiations with Israel but also with the United States and its regional allies.
Into this process, Tehran took action to hold back Syria without which it cannot keep in touch with the Hezbollah : so it did nothing that could break their relations.
In the meantime, Syria also avoided any split because it was negotiating to obtain generous compensations in exchange of such break-up. Because he didn’t trust the Americans who endlessly attempted to depose him to replace him by his Syrian Muslim brothers, Assad then started a shady play to do well.
Instead of taking the plunge to join the side of the Arab allies of the United States, on the basis of the credence the United States granted it, he tried to launch a takeover bid on the Hezbollah and the Hamas to become the dominating regional power in place of the mullahs. At the same time, he tried to appear as a valid mediator for Europe -and not for the United States- to talk to Tehran.
Such behavior nowadays holds up negotiations with the United States : to give any value to a possible split with Tehran, Syria resumed its relations with the mullahs who where obviously delighted because such State is an indispensable ally for their regional role.
However the mullahs are greatly conscious that their main ally in Syria is Assad, the unruly man who wants to drop them exactly. They don’t wish to weaken him : he would become more vulnerable and yield to the Americans.
It’s in such context in which their room for maneuver is limited that we heard those injurious sentiments against Israel, sentiments that were pronounced in order to disrupt the Damascus-Tel Aviv rapprochement. However it would be unreasonable to reduce the whole speech to those both words. Those both insults were said there to give extra media coverage to a speech that was the one held in Durban 2 : a speech to encourage Arabs and Muslims to revolt.
New speech | It’s on the 18th April that Tehran introduced such language by removing any anti-Israeli slogan that was written on its missiles on the Army Day. Such trend got confirmed the day before Durban 2 : Tehran put a break on every injurious sentiment against Israel. It started use a different register : the one of the appeased defender of the Arab and Muslims right in the international institutions. Its goal was to create a united front of the member countries of the Islamic conference to request a reworking of the Security Council with the abolition of the veto right -“that protects Israel”- and demand the creation of an additional seat for Muslim countries.
Such efforts failed in Geneva because the Muslim States didn’t follow up Tehran’s request but the regime didn’t give up its new anti-Zionist speech that is exempt from insults. We heard a variant of this speech in the interview granted by Ahmadinejad to the American channel ABC and we noticed another variant in Damascus.
Such variant doesn’t constitute a difference with the politically correct strategy that is defined for the next years, even not the expression of an irrepressible hatred but simply the expression of an urgent situation toward Syria, a State that allows the mullahs to have a regional role that pleases the Arab street.
Into this Damascus speech, nothing was left aimlessly : the man of the mullahs’ regime spit his venom in a conference press that was common with Assad, i.e. in the presence of every Arab media, indispensable intermediaries with the Arab street, the true interlocutor of the mullahs’ regime.
Ahmadinejad also denounced the United States that “occupy the countries” of the region. “They weren’t invited. They are undesirable visitors who must leave Afghanistan and the borders of Pakistan. We don’t want any honey from those stinging bees. Efforts have to be expended to make the region free of any foreigner presence and to reform the unfair world economic and political system.”
“Circumstances change quickly in our favor. We are on the way to triumph”… The United States “that were exerting pressures on Syria and Iran need us and must develop their relations.”