Mustafa Zahrani, head of strategic affairs at the Institute for Political and International Studies of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, revealed that his country does not have a strategy to get out of the war in Syria. He added that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will turn his back on Iran and ally with Russia because Moscow can challenge and stand up to the United States.
In an article published by the “Iranian diplomat” website of Sadegh Kharrazi, Iran’s former ambassador to the UN, Zahrani disclosed that “Syria will side with whoever can keep Bashar al-Assad in power, and in this equation, the Russians were more supportive. Although Iran has played a great role in the field, in terms of air cover and international privileges, Russia has the upper hand. Assad will turn his back on Iran and shake hands with Russia. “
“We were optimistic that the war in Syria would be short and that the enemy was weak and we could end the battle quickly. The majority of the countries that intervened in Syria were optimistic too and did not plan for an exit strategy, including Iran and Turkey,” said the head of strategic affairs at the Institute for Political and International Studies of the Iranian Foreign Ministry. Russia, on the other hand, has an exit strategy, because its role was limited to air cover unlike us.”
Zahrani explained that the nuclear project made Iran a security threat to the region because of its nuclear activities, but after the nuclear agreement reached by Tehran with the six major countries, Iran’s involvement in the region especially in Syria, Iraq and Yemen became worrisome, as he explained.
“Even if Hillary Clinton was president, the United States would have gone in the direction of labeling Iran as a security threat to the region, but the election of Donald Trump made things move a lot faster,” he stated.
Zahrani, who served as Iran’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations between 2000 and 2004, said that Tehran should find a solution to the Syrian crisis before it is too late, especially since the countries of the region are more familiar with Iranian interventions by now.
The Iranian diplomat added that Russia has reached its goals in Syria and will enter into deals with the United States and even Israel on the Syrian issue, he asserted.
This is the first time that an official in the Iranian Foreign Ministry has revealed the problems facing his country in the Syrian crisis and the relationship between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies, the Russians and the Iranians, who have spared no effort in helping him stay in power in Syria.