Monday, December 23, 2013

Iran is A Regional Power

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Yesterday I read that Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino visited Iran and held a press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

The main point of the coverage was to say that any country trying to push Iran out of a position of power in the region, will fail.

Zarif made the following concerning efforts to exclude his country from the Syrian peace talks:

"We believe that the view which prevents Iran from playing a positive role on Syria issue is not realistic."

"We have announced readiness to find a political solution to Syria crisis and to have a constructive and effective presence in Geneva II."

"We hope the efforts (to solve Syria issue) will be based on realities"

Zarif reiterated that if Iran is invited to the talks, it will also take part in the forthcoming conference on Syria.
For her part, the Italian foreign minister responded well. She emphasized Iran's constructive role in the region.

She said: "We want positive presence of Iran in the international conference of Geneva II on Syria crisis."

"Geneva II Conference is the will of the United Nations to solve Syria crisis."

"... all the countries which have influence to stop tragedy in Syria should attend Geneva II Conference."

The only problem with this entire story line is that Iran has a proverbial horse in the race. The Iranians are major players in Syria. Iran has deployed special units of their Revolutionary Guard in Syria. Iran stationed training forces in Syria and the Iranians are sponsors of Hezbollah and of Bashar Assad himself.

Iran controls what happens in Syria. And Iran wants a resolution that meets their own specific goals and vision. 

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