Purported Deal Illustrates Importance of Syria
Iran is desperate to prop up Assad regime
The breakdown of Syrian civil society—the protests against President Assad turned violent repression from Assad turned, at this point, basically revolution against Assad—has revealed Damascus’ role as the linchpin of Iran’s ability to extend its influence and project its power. Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite group, and Hamas, the Palestinian offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, were both based in Damascus and both reliant on Iran for funding. Hezbollah has stood by Assad and duly seen its reputation in the region plummet. By contrast, Hamas is departing Damascus for greener shores (likely Cairo or Qatar) and, despite having reportedly lost Iranian money, now enjoys greater prestige than ever before: Reconciliation with Fatah is back on track and a state visit of the Gaza prime minister to Istanbul is in the bag.
A bit of news from the Washington Times‘ Ben Birnbaum confirms the Assad regime’s importance to Iran and as a corollary the blow that the fall of Assad would represent to the Islamic Republic. He reports that Iran tried to bribe Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood into backing Assad by offering it four posts in the Syrian government. Which reveals not only Iran’s interest in maintaining Assad’s power and other actors’ support for it, but also its influence in Syria, as captured by its ability to guarantee government posts in what is, after all, ostensibly another sovereign country.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.