Al-Hayat, London, Originally posted in Arabic on August 16
Iran is trying to implement a new agenda in Syria by pushing for a four-point plan: an immediate ceasefire, the establishment of a national unity government, the anchoring of minority rights in the constitution, and internationally supervised presidential elections in Syria.
At first, these all seem like reasonable solutions. However, a closer look at the politics behind the plan reveals Teheran’s hidden motives in pursuing this agenda.
In 2012, the United Nations and the Arab League adopted the six-point peace plan for Syria, which was then ratified in the 2014 Geneva II Conference. The Plan called for the resignation of Bashar al-Assad; to which Teheran and Moscow were opposed from the very beginning.
By promoting a plan of its own – supported by Russia – Teheran is now staging a coup against the Geneva framework. It is trying to use a ceasefire in order to give an official status to the militias it has built in Syria. It is ignoring the need for a transitional government by calling for a large and dysfunctional unity government. It is seeking to anchor sectarian tensions in the constitution, similarly to the Taif Agreement in Lebanon, which pledged to abolish political sectarianism but, in reality, made it thrive.
Above all, Iran seeks to position itself as a key player in Syria, and is not willing to decline its power to the United Nations and the Arab League. It is playing a dangerous game, because it successfully cons the West.
The leaders in Tehran talk about a diplomatic solution in Syria, while deploying more and more Revolutionary Guard militias, supported by Hezbollah, to fight alongside Assad. It uses noble rhetoric to deceive the international community, and hides behind a cloak of diplomacy to increase its military involvement in the region. – Raghda Hargdam