Coward Old Universe…

by Jeremy G.

Iran has lost a battle

Posted by Jeremy Ghez on July 14, 2008

Sarkozy’s decision to invite Syrian President Bachar el-Assad has stirred great controversy in France.  Sarkozy had announced, in the minutes that followed his election, that he would end past French realpolitik practices and would not compromise with dictatorships.  After the sight of Qaddafi in Paris, el-Assad’s visit has come as a major blow to human rights activists.

I understand the disappointment of those who have a hard time seeing the logic in all of this, as I experienced the same difficulties, and was a great fan of Sarkozy’s more idealist proclivities.  It is worth noting, however, that Syria is not Libya.  Today’s handshake between el-Assad and Sarkozy is the proof that if the West will talk to Damascus, the Syrians, in turn will listen.  The latter feel uneasy, to say the least, with the way they’ve been treated since the Hariri assassination and the subsequent Cedar Revolution.  Their ties with Hezbollah and Tehran are very solid given the current situation, but Syria remains the weak link in this Shiite Axis.

As a matter of fact, whereas the el-Assad is alawite, that is a branch of the Shiite sect, the majority of the population in Syria is Sunni.  There is therefore nothing “natural” about the axis allying Tehran to Damascus and Hezbollah, though it remains very solid in practice.  The truth of the matter is that it this is an ad hoc alliance that the West has the ability to break.  If and once this occurs, this will constitute a major blow to Tehran, which will start lacking support in the region.   

Sarkozy is spending part of his political capital, but if his calculations are as wise as they appear, this may turn out to be smart spending… 


3 Responses to “Iran has lost a battle”

  1. […] Iran has lost a battle […]

  2. […] Iran has lost a battle […]

  3. […] Iran has lost a battle […]

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