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Russian Federation calls for foreign troop pullout from Syria including Iran, Hezbollah

22 May 2018

Recent withdrawal of U.S. from the Iran Nuclear Deal seems outcome of a carefully thought out U.S. strategy to stem the rising tide of Iran's regional influence.

Speculation is that the cargo was destroyed only a few hours after the plane had taken off back to Iran.

Heavy explosions were heard Sunday overnight south of Damascus in Syria in an area which holds a security facility used by Iranian forces, Sky News in Arabic reported.

Israel has long argued that Iran's presence in Syria has grown.

However, Iran's expansion as a regional power largely took place before the nuclear deal was signed, and the comprehensive worldwide sanctions that existed in the years leading up to the agreement did not deter Tehran's support for extremist groups in Arab countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen.

Putin is seizing the geopolitical moment. Since Russia intervened militarily in Syria in September 2015, the tide has turned: The regime of President Bashar Assad narrowly escaped collapse, while the rebel groups' hold over major cities and districts was undone, albeit at a huge humanitarian cost.

Assad's refusal to accept any weakening of his power shows he "does not want a political solution", said Yahya al-Aridi, a spokesman for the main Syrian opposition group.

Tehran has not completely walked away from the nuclear deal, since the Europeans are still participating.

Merkel urged Putin to use his clout with Assad to make him reverse a law that could strip Syrians of their assets if they fail to claim them right away.

Mr Abrams also predicted that European firms would start aligning themselves with U.S. demands after Mr Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal and threatened them with sanctions.

What Mr Putin wants, he told the summit, are "certain political guarantees" that the new Syrian regime won't pose a direct threat to Israel. Assad announced that he will be listing delegates for the Constitutional Committee that will work on amending the Syrian constitution. Israel has reportedly carried out repeated air strikes against them, hoping to stop the formation of a Lebanese-Syrian front to its north and the transfer of arms to Hezbollah.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a sharp critic of the Iran nuclear deal. He spoke of the need to organise a legal and effective exit, one that will keep Syria in tact and "save our face".

Iran's lack of response to Israeli strikes is not surprising. Engaging in a protracted war with Israel in Syria would distract these efforts and strengthen Iran's hardliners. Rouhani's window of opportunity to save the nuclear deal will be closing soon.

The global pressure on Iran makes it hard for Russian Federation to maintain an alliance with a country that has political and economic issues at the scale that Iran does. Jaber further argued that "the reference by both Putin and Assad relates to both Turkish and US forces and not Iran, which has a defense agreement with Syria... its current presence is not part of any such deals to be made". Rouhani is unlikely to yield to such conditions, as hardliners will accuse him of selling out to the West and its Arab allies. Now there are forecasts of more thunder to come, this time between Iran and Israel in a conflict that would be on an entirely different scale were it to come about.

Russian Federation calls for foreign troop pullout from Syria including Iran, Hezbollah