The Iran-U.S. rapprochement, the improving ties between the Islamic Republic and European countries as well as the nuclear deal between the six world powers (known as the P5+1) and Tehran, have raised a considerable amount of expectations towards the country.
Some of those expectations are that Iran is going to play a constructive role in resolving the crisis in Syria and that it will halt its military support for President Bashar al-Assad and Syrian forces.
Many of those who favor the nuclear deal argue that Tehran will change its regional and foreign policies regarding Syria and Assad. As the argument goes, this is due to the notion that Tehran is currently showing evidence of reintegrating in the international community and global financial system.
Recently, Tehran and Moscow have announced plans to resolve the crisis and civil war in Syria, and they appear to have a sudden interest in taking the lead in resolving the conflict. Moscow is offering a proposal for a transitional government and parliamentary elections. This plan is most likely being supported by Tehran as well.
Is Iran changing its geopolitical and strategic position on Syria? Will Iran accept a formation of a new government in Syria?
The Islamic Republic is not in a pleasant or comfortable position when economic factors and military manpower come into calculationDr. Majid Rafizadeh
Although Iran denies that it has forces on the ground in Syria, Tehran is regularly revealing the bodies of Iranian officers killed in Syria and the Iranian state media outlets mourn the death of Iranian officers who were killed in the war-torn nation. Iran, the leading patron and staunchest ally of Bashar al-Assad, has been assisting the Syrian government militarily, financially and politically.
As a result, the Islamic Republic is not in a pleasant or comfortable position when economic factors and military manpower come into calculation.
Notwithstanding being in an unpleasant financial situation, Tehran is not necessarily ready to fundamentally change its strategic and geopolitical calculation on Syria.
With the current nuclear deal, the Islamic Republic has more hope for receiving further financial incentives from selling gas, oil and gaining access to over 100 billion dollars’ worth of assets. Hence, Iran is not in a completely desperate position economically speaking.
In addition, although Iranian leaders point out that the Syrian people are the ones who decide the fate of Syria, any plan which comes from a state (Tehran and Moscow in this case) will represent the national, geopolitical, economic and strategic interests of those who put the plan forward.
Top-down plans will not represent the interests of the people on the ground - the Syrian citizens.
This is similar to the Sykes-Picot plan of great powers which drew boundaries in the region, based on the interests of those who put the plan forward rather than the citizens of those lands.