Syrian FM visits Tehran to discuss crisis with Iran, Russia

Syrian Foreign Minister Mouallem visits Tehran in order to talk course of ongoing Syrian civil war with Iranian and Russian leaderships which gave taken for granted support to Assad regime since conflict erupted in 2011

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Aug 12, 2015

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al Mouallem arrived in Tehran on Tuesday to meet with Iranian and Russian envoys to discuss recent developments in Syria in the wake of Iranian nuclear deal which is believed to have enforced Iran’s diplomatic maneuvers in terms of backing the Bashar al Assad regime in Damascus.

Mouallem is expected to meet with Mikhail Bogdanov, Russian President Vladimir Putin's special envoy to the Middle East, on Tuesday before his scheduled gathering with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday, according to Iranian and Russian media reports.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian interpreted Mouallem’s visit as an opportunity for finding a diplomatic resolution to the ongoing conflicts in Syria.

"Fortunately we see a change in the strategy of regional players in the Syrian crisis. If four years ago they believed war is the only solution, now they prefer to focus on diplomacy," Abdollahian was quoted as saying by Fars News Agency.

Iran is known for its solid stance towards the Assad regime in Syria and backs the Syrian military through sending weaponry and human resources, a vital support that essentially annoys Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and as well as Turkey in the region.

The Iran’s nuclear deal agreed on July 14 in Vienna is expected to further dissipate Western pressure over Damascus since Iran enhances its bargaining power regarding the regional crises foremost in Syria and Yemen.

Iranian FM Zarif suggested a regional dialogue committee be formed to tackle the multiple crises in the Middle East as he meant the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Yemen where Iran’s conventional support and political influence necessitate Tehran’s active mediation in conflict resolution and peacebuilding efforts.

"Nowhere in the world needs this mechanism more than the Gulf region, and the Middle East ... No one can fight against extremist groups like the Islamic State in Iraq, while helping them grow in Yemen and Syria," Zarif said in an article published in four Arab newspapers on Monday.

However, Russia has so far supported the Assad regime together with Iran whereas the US and other Western allies together with the Gulf Arab dynasties have long been insisting on the regime change in Syria.

Since the Geneva talks, the US and Russia have been clashing over the ongoing Syrian crisis for which the parties could not have converged on how to end the civil war engulfing the Assad regime in Damascus.

The US and Russia are still negotiating to find a proper solution to the issue, but the parties continue to have essential divergences on the issue since the ISIS advancement in and around Syria have further complicated the ongoing political and humanitarian crises as well as military conflicts in the war-torn country.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov once reiterated "The need for a political solution to the conflict and the important role to be played by opposition groups in reaching that solution," as the parties met together with the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir in Qatar on Monday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin last month reiterated Moscow’s staminal support to Syria as he warned of any external use of force which might attempt at changing the Assad regime in order to terminate the civil war.  

Lavrov also confirmed on Monday after the ministerial meeting in Doha that Russia was against air the US-led coalition air strikes in Syria by pretexting ISIS onslaught and stressed a diplomatic resolution within the borders of international law.

US President Barack Obama also said month that the problems in Syria cannot be resolved without support and participation of regional and international actors like Russia, Turkey and Iran.

But the US has been focusing in Syria on the struggle with ISIS rather than immediately changing the Assad regime as the militant group captured strongholds in Syria and Iraq since June 2014.

Washington has lately convinced Ankara over its campaign against ISIS in both Syria and Iraq as the parties also agreed on the utilisation of Incirlik air base in Turkey’s Adana province last month.

The US authorities on Monday declared that they launched armed intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) missions using Incirlik air base to strike ISIS targets in Syria.

The UN and London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights group, announced that over 220,000 people have been killed in the four years of Syrian conflict while millions of Syrians were either internally displaced or forced to flee neighbouring countries like Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

In this sense, Turkey has been so far the worst affected country from the humanitarian crisis in Syria and it currently hosts almost 1.8 million Syrian refugees all across the country.

TRTWorld and agencies