In the midst of the ongoing debate about the role of Iran in the violent repression of civilian protestors in Syria and how far it is willing to support president Bashar al-Assad, a Syrian opposition figure and a Kuwaiti political analyst agreed that Iran will do its best to keep the Syrian regime in power, yet will eventually fail to protect it.
Iran will not spare an effort to save its ally, Bashar al-Assad, owing to all the services he offers to the Iranian regime, said Walid al-Bunni, head of the Central Bureau for Foreign Relations in the Syrian National Council.
“There was not one regime in the region that offered this amount of free services to a foreign country like Assad did with Iran,” he said.
Bunni added that Iran’s efforts would be in vain since the Syrian people know what they want and are not going to give up on that.
“Let Iran focus on its internal problems, for it is not even able to overcome the threats it is facing,” he said. “The Syrian people do not want anything from it, neither good nor bad.”
Bunni refuted claims by pro-Assad officials that the regime is serious about implementing reforms and stressed that the situation has not changed.
“The Syrian people are still being killed and arrested. This regime is incapable of reforming anything or achieving any progress.”
Arab League attempts at resolving the crisis in Syria, Bunni explained, have failed because of limited resources and capabilities.
“But the United Nations will not stand still and the international community will definitely interfere to save the Syrian people who have been getting killed for the past 10 months.”
According to Fahd al-Shalimi, head of the Gulf Forum for Security and Peace, Iran is involved in the affairs of several countries in the region and is suffering from many problems, and that is why it cannot afford to lose its strategic ally Syria.
“Any interference by Iran in Syria will have nothing to do with the people and their interests, but will be all about keeping a regime that serves it in power,” Shalimi said.
Iran, Shalimi added, not only did not interfere to save the Syrian people, but did the same with Israel’s attack on Hezbollah.
“In both cases, Iran did not fire one single missile and just watched.”
As for supporting the Syrian regime, Shalimi argued that Iran will be quick to help Assad stay in power.
“The Revolutionary Guard in particular is likely to interfere. They are very powerful, even more powerful than the ruling elite in Irann and it is them and not politicians who always threaten and warn.”
Shalimi attributed Iran’s desperate attempts to save the Syrian regime to the increasing problems it is facing.
“Iran is frightened of the economic sanctions that might deprive it of oil revenues. This means a loss of more than $400 million daily.”
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)