Diplomacy

Experts: Iran Nuke Deal Will Empower Assad, Fuel Syrian Civil War

Calling the Syrian civil war, which has claimed over 300,000 lives, the “worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century,” Michael Weiss and Nancy Youssef wrote today in The Daily Beast that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stands to achieve significant gains due to the nuclear agreement reached between the P5+1 powers and Iran.

The Obama administration is hopeful that the Iranians will use the windfall to build schools, hospitals, and roads. But there’s an excellent chance that at least a healthy chunk of it will go to two U.S.-designated terrorist entities: the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QC) and its proxy Lebanese Hezbollah, both of which are now in effect running Assad’s scorched-earth warfare. Naame Shaam, a citizens’ journalist collective, has argued in a series of research reports that Iran is technically an “occupying force” in Syria, so extensive is its military intervention in the country. What’s more, the IRGC-QF is guilty of orchestrating numerous war crimes against the Syrian people, including ethnic cleansing.

Weiss and Youssef quoted Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, saying that the deal will “enable Iran to spend billions of new dollars on keeping the vicious sectarian wars of the Middle East as Iran expands its regional influence.”

In addition to the financial windfall, Iran also stands to benefit from an expanded arsenal in five years due to the lifting of a United Nations imposed arms embargo.

According to Oubai Shahbandar, a former Pentagon official who now serves as communications adviser to the Gulf-based television network Orient Media, the scaled lifting of the arms embargo “will wreak massive devastation on the Syrian civilians who seem to have been sacrificed as ‘collateral damage’ to this deal. The Iranian-designed and -produced Falaq-1 and Falaq-2 rockets proliferated to Assad were modified to carry chemical weapons and were the delivery vehicles for the 2013 sarin gas attack. Iran just received a blank check for its deadly activities in Syria.”

Weiss and Yousef conclude by quoting Maysaloon, a Syrian blogger who wrote, “The Iranian deal means more bombs, more bullets, and more militias will be sent to Assad, and the easing of sanctions means more money will be used to prop up his economy and keep him in power.”

After the deal was announced, Assad called it a “great victory.”

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