The Iranian Riots Could Influence the Outcome of the Sochi Syrian Congress
The recent disturbances in Iran have put Tehran on the strategic regional defensive, and the foreign policy slogans that are being shouted are obvious signs that pressure is being put on it to enact “concessions” during the upcoming Sochi Syrian Congress.
The Russian seaside city of Sochi will host the upcoming “Syrian National Dialogue Congress” by the end of the month, during which time Moscow expects all relevant parties to enact “concessions” in finally advancing UNSC Res. 2254’s mandate for constitutional reform and new elections.
While the meeting is “officially” only between Syrians, there’s no doubt that each respective delegation’s external patrons will also be tacitly involved as well in conducting discrete negotiations with one another, since it’s an open secret that most Syrian actors aren’t independent of their foreign sponsors.
That said, the legitimate authorities in Damascus are indeed independent, though it can be argued that they’re “too independent” because they’ve thus far refused to follow the “hints” and not-so-subtle “encouragement” from their chief Russian partner to engage in “concessions”.
Despite President Putin declaring during the last Sochi Summit between his Tripartite Great Power counterparts from Iran and Turkey that all sides need to “compromise”, including the Syrian government, Damascus still insists that it will liberate “every inch” of the country, a plan that’s visibly at odds with the “de-escalation zones” that are in place as well as the speculated “gentlemen’s agreement” between Russia and the US over northeastern Syria.
Part of the reason for Syria’s literal uncompromising stance is because it knows that it can fully depend on its Iranian allies for support, as Tehran has yet to display any of Moscow’s “suggestions” that Damascus “compromises” on anything.
This has put Russia and Iran at odds over the end game in Syria, since President Putin is staking his international reputation on reaching a “political solution” there and thus “balancing” between all internal and external sides, while the Islamic Republic implicitly supports a “military solution” that aligns with its regional grand strategy of fully neutralizing all of its adversaries’ influence in each Mideast proxy battleground.
Now, however, the purportedly unexpected but in reality long-ago predicted unrest that’s exploded in Iran over the past week is putting Tehran on the strategic defensive and prompting it to reconsider its blank check of support for its Syrian allies.
Some of the riot leaders have chanted foreign policy slogans that include a demand that Iran discontinue its assistance to Syria, which reeks of external scripting to appeal to “nationalist-populist” elements (in the Western-understood sense) of the protest movement and also generate a misleading infowar narrative.
It’s this latter part that’s of importance to the present analysis, since it sends a sign to the Iranian leadership of the real reason behind this foreign-directed internal destabilization and produces a handy propaganda package to disseminate across the world during the Sochi Syrian Congress if Iran continues to stalwartly stand by its allies in Damascus.
Altogether, the US and its partners are exploiting the Color Revolution unrest in Iran to coerce its government into enacting unofficial “concessions” during the Sochi gathering by conveying to Syria that it will no longer support all of its goals, thus removing Damascus’ last pillar of support for its plans and forcing it to go along with the other “compromises” that will be bandied about concerning constitutional reform (which will obviously include the country’s “decentralization”) and new elections, while Iran might receive relief from its riots in exchange.
Should Iran refuse to be bullied by enemies, then it can be expected that the foreign policy slogans that some of the rioters are chanting at the behest of hostile intelligence agencies will be rebroadcast across the world at that time and used for “justifying” a second round of Color Revolution instability.
The US has no guarantee that its latest Syrian-related gambit against Iran will yield the desired results, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp has thus far been efficient in retaining the peace and preventing the emergence of new riots together with the government’s reverse-Color Revolution/Democratic Security methods, but it nevertheless seems like Washington will continue utilizing this stratagem as it seeks to get Tehran to engage in the multisided dealmaking that everyone but themselves will be partaking in during the Sochi Congress.
Curiously, a “successful” outcome in this regard could also play to Russia’s benefit too, albeit inadvertently just like a renewed round of multisided US-EU sanctions would as well, because it would remove all practical obstacles to President Putin’s envisioned peace plan for Syria by making it all but inevitable that the country would be “decentralized” along the contours of its “de-escalation zones” and the de-facto Euphrates “deconfliction line” with the US and their Kurdish allies.
By Andrew Korybko
Source: Oriental Review