If Iran wins in Syria, danger threatens the Gulf

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

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After regional and international stances became clear, the struggle in Syria and over Syria has become clear. This is a war that will alter the region's map. If Bashar al-Assad's regime survives, Hezbollah and Iran win as well. Therefore, it is not an exaggeration to say that this is crucial war for the Gulf countries, Jordan, Lebanon and primarily for Syria itself.

A victory of the Assad’s regime will lead to Iran's domination over Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and consequentially over the Gulf as well as posing a threat to Jordan's and Lebanon's existence. Iran sees that a victory in Syria will grant it Western concessions to widen its influence and develop its nuclear program. This is what Britain and France told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who sold the Syrian people to Russia in exchange for going to the Geneva conference. John Kerry granted Assad more than the latter ever dreamt of. Kerry offered that Assad keep all ministries under his control in addition to remaining his post as president for another year. For Kerry a Syrian transitional government is nothing more than a formality.

It's a mistake to count on international support or U.N. Security Council decisions because these are out of the question, at least for another year. The American president and his government chose to turn a blind eye, and Russia decided to side with Iran and Syria.

High hopes of ‘winning’

But there is high hope that the Syrian people will win, because they know well that their defeat means their slaughter. They have gone so far in their revolution and liberated more than half of their country. They've scarified their blood for the sake of breaking free from the worst suppressive security regime in the world.

Gulf countries are the Syrian people's real supporters. Their stances were brave despite the huge risk and despite their first clear political and military disagreement with the United States.

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

If it hadn't been for the Syrian groups' and individuals' struggle, the war may have not lasted for more than a year, and Assad could have smashed the opposition and avenged from the rest. But leaving the Syrian people alone after all this time and after all these efforts and sacrifices will make their victory against the Assad’s regime difficult. They are currently confronting armies that arrived from Iran, Iraq, Russia and Lebanon (Hezbollah), and it is not fair to expect them to confront all these by themselves. The entry of these armed members from Iraq as well as Hezbollah's interference in particular had made supporting the Syrian people through this ordeal a collective responsibility. This is the major duty that the international community must have fulfilled to deter this evil regime, like it previously did against Milosevic in Bosnia. However, the international community is in a coma. The Syrian people are now only partially supported by Britain and France. Only few Arab countries support them, particularly Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Qatar. Egypt, Algeria, Sudan and Tunisia side with Bashar al-Assad's regime, and the rest of the Arab countries are neutral.

Gulf countries are the Syrian people's real supporters. Their stances were brave despite the huge risk and despite their first clear political and military disagreement with the United States regarding regional conflicts. Although they are almost the only ones supporting the Syrians, they must be aware that the situation has become clearer in the past few weeks with the arrival of thousands of fighters from Iran and Iraq as well as of Hezbollah fighters to Syria to support the Assad regime. These developments indicate that the Syrian revolution has transformed into an arena for a regional war where there is no other choice other than completely standing by the Syrian people in their fight against injustice and against the axis of evil that sided with Assad.

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on May 29, 2013.

Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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