Arab Today, arab today the russian opportunity for iranian flexibility
Last Updated : GMT 18:28:12
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

The Russian opportunity for Iranian flexibility

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today the russian opportunity for iranian flexibility

Walid Choucair

American and Russian diplomats are differing over how to translate their agreement to remove Syria’s chemical weapons into a United Nations Security Council resolution. This dispute indicates that they remain unable to agree on the "day after" for the regime, immediately after the agreement goes into effect. In other words, they are unable to agree on the agenda of a Geneva 2 peace conference to launch a political solution to the Syria crisis, the nature of this solution, and the role of Syrian President Bashar Assad in this solution. Most likely, the two superpowers will be able to arrive at an agreement over the language of a Security Council resolution (whether or not it mentions Chapter 7 of the UN Charter), which will complete the agreement on removing Syria’s chemical weapons. Removing the possibility of a military strike against the regime was a fundamental reason for this agreement and it is a sufficient reason for not moving away from such a step. Moreover, when leading countries forge an agreement, it is difficult for either side to negate it. It will be difficult for Moscow to continue its efforts to absolve Assad of responsibility for using chemical weapons, after Russia and Iran believed that they had achieved something by getting the agreement on removing these weapons. This will keep the head of the regime in power and turn him into a negotiator in a long process that is required by the implementation of the agreement with the United Nations and international experts. This will cement Assad and his legitimacy as the head of state during a period of searching for a political solution in the coming months. Accusing the regime of responsibility for the chemical attack on 21 August makes it difficult to see Assad remain as a prime negotiator for the next phase and the political process that is supposed to unfold, after the removal of chemical weapons takes it course. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama believes that “it's very hard to imagine … (the Syrian) civil war dying down if in fact Assad is still in power.” The maneuverings over ways to implement an agreement on chemical weapons can be summed up by the dispute over what will follow. Moscow and Washington had arrived at an agreement on beginning with negotiations on a political solution with Assad, as part of a process that would end without him. Each side said it accepted this; for Washington, beginning the political process was not conditional on Assad’s departure, while for Moscow, the end of the process would not necessarily see him stay on. But there is another factor, which goes beyond what is acceptable to Moscow, and that is Iran. If the US and Russian agreement on removing Syria’s chemical weapons involves a convergence on the determination to safeguard Israel’s security, the Russians are aware that guaranteeing this security involves Hezbollah, and Iran. Moscow has relayed this to the Americans, who early on signaled an openness to Tehran, based on what was said by both Obama and Iranian President Hasan Rohani. The pending issues between the two countries have prompted Tehran’s determination to see Assad remain in power, and Hezbollah play a role in Syria (along with the party’s role in Lebanon, naturally), using them as bargaining chips that will not be abandoned, unless it is in the context of dealing with these pending issues with Washington. It is not in Iran’s power to object to Moscow’s decision that Assad turn over his chemical weapons, but likewise, Russia cannot object to Iran’s role in the political process, especially if it continues to support Assad’s staying in power, because it is protecting him on the ground. Washington is aware of this, and thus launched negotiations with Iran through several channels, such as using the UN deputy secretary general Jeffrey Feltman to visit Iran twice. Feltman did so wearing the “hat” of the UN, but later donned an American “hat” to announce on 25 August that he thanked the Iranians for cooperating on the Syrian crisis. On the 12th of this month, he told CNN “It's hard for us to imagine any solution in Syria that doesn't somehow have an Iranian role… we don't believe that simply by talking to the Syrians themselves we're going to be able to solve the Syria crisis at this point.” The Iranians, Feltman said, were important in this regard. The evolution on this front lies in the fact that Washington accepted negotiations with Tehran over its regional role, after in the past limiting things to negotiations over its nuclear program, because Gulf countries feared this policy would be at cross-purposes to their own pending issues with Tehran. Most likely, it is no coincidence that the King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah bin Abdel-Aziz, invited Rohani to the Hajj while Rohani has demonstrated openness, opening channels of communications with the Americans. The invitation opens up a new window for Iran to involve itself in issues connected to the Gulf, Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Sayyed Ali Khamenei, talks about employing the “flexibility of heroes” in reaching an agreement with the west, which is clear cover for the policy of Rohani, who said this week that he had “full power to negotiate” over the nuclear issue, hinting at a desire to speed up the talks. This course of action will put all of Tehran’s bargaining chips, including Hezbollah, on the table; moreover, Russia’s “slowness” in implementing the agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons will give Iran the opportunity to embark on a new path that it has decided on. The issue of the post-Assad era in Syria will depend on progress on this front. The views expressed by the author do not necessarily represent or reflect the editorial policy of Arabstoday.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today the russian opportunity for iranian flexibility Arab Today, arab today the russian opportunity for iranian flexibility

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017

GMT 06:15 2017 Monday ,27 February

Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017
Arab Today, arab today As Olympics loom,China plunges into biz

GMT 10:08 2017 Tuesday ,28 February

As Olympics loom,China plunges into biz
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today UN envoy sets out framework

GMT 07:25 2017 Monday ,27 February

UN envoy sets out framework
Arab Today, arab today Kalam Nawaem made a difference in social issues

GMT 06:43 2017 Tuesday ,28 February

Kalam Nawaem made a difference in social issues

GMT 04:15 2013 Saturday ,28 September

Rohani's caution and Obama's about-face

GMT 04:37 2013 Saturday ,21 September

The Russian opportunity for Iranian flexibility

GMT 04:09 2013 Saturday ,14 September

The ironies of postponing a military strike against Syria

GMT 06:16 2013 Saturday ,31 August

The mistake of chemical weapons

GMT 05:02 2013 Monday ,19 August

Egypt, Syria, Russia and Saudi Arabia

GMT 07:37 2013 Saturday ,03 August

Elections in Kuwait and the true effort needed

GMT 07:59 2013 Saturday ,27 July

Sanctions on Hezbollah in the context of Iran
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Parliament considers solutions to overpopulation

GMT 20:27 2017 Monday ,27 February

Parliament considers solutions to overpopulation
Arab Today, arab today Humans spark most US wildfires

GMT 14:58 2017 Tuesday ,28 February

Humans spark most US wildfires
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Final Phantom VII signals end of an era

GMT 14:31 2017 Tuesday ,28 February

Final Phantom VII signals end of an era
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Aspires present the story of Egypt’s first president

GMT 06:18 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Aspires present the story of Egypt’s first president
Arab Today, arab today Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 11:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 06:42 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Reasons for the delay 'On the Stairs of Servants'

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 18:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 10:51 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Pigs with edited genes show resistance

GMT 18:28 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Tourist guide explains types of tourism

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 06:28 2017 Tuesday ,28 February

Dumbphones survive rise of the smartphone

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday