The head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) reaffirmed the Iranian regime’s support of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad yesterday.
Iran’s “support of the Syrian regime will continue” and “we strongly condemn this move by the U.S. which we see as an aggressive and bullying posture,” Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said at a news conference in Tehran today.
Bloomberg also reported that Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy, is boasting of its support for the embattled Syrian dictator.
“Hezbollah has to remain in Syria now more than any time before” to fend off the threat of Islamic State, Nabil Qawooq, a senior official in the Lebanon-based movement, said yesterday, according to the Annahar newspaper.
Jafari’s comments come in the wake of an International Atomic Energy Agency report that Iran is stonewalling the investigation into military dimensions of its nuclear program. Syria recently confirmed long-held suspicions that it maintained elements of its chemical weapons program in violation of the agreement it signed last year to get rid of them.
In Confidence Game: Losing American Support the Gulf States Scramble, published in the January 2014 issue of The Tower Magazine, Jonathan Spyer explains that Iran’s support of Syria is an essential part of the Islamic Republic’s projection of influence.
Iran’s long-standing alliance with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, its creation and sponsorship of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, and its growing closeness to Iraq’s post-Saddam Shia-dominated government has produced a contiguous line of pro-Tehran states stretching from Iran’s western border to the Mediterranean Sea and, importantly, Israel’s northern border. Essential to this strategy is the Iranian nuclear project, which is intended to be a kind of insurance policy against any determined action by Iran’s regional or global rivals.
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