Strategic Alliance between Syria and IranIntroductionChronological variances have always shaped alliances in the Arab world with the latest being the Syrian and Iranian alliance. This enduring alliance between Syria and Iran dates back to 1979 after the Iranian revolution authenticating it as a facet in the political landscape in the Middle East. It has ignited controversy among many nations globally, especially those that view it as an impediment to attaining long standing peace in the Middle East. The Sunni Arabs perceive it as a threat to the Arab world’s stability as it threatens the region’s status quo.
In addition, it has been analyzed as being purely proactive and not reactive. This is due to the fact that the two nations feel threatened both regionally and globally by the Western allies led by the USA. The Arab world has seen the Syrian and Iranian alliance as part of Syria bureaucrat propaganda to present itself as being under attack by hostile forces mainly in the Arab region hence justifying its own dissident policies and regional hegemonic ambitions (Goodarzi, 288). Analysis of the Iranian-Syrian AllianceThe Syria and Iranian coalition has played a key function in international relations especially because Syria and Iran had a hand in sponsoring the Shi’i movements in Beirut and had deviating stands on the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
According to Yiar Hirschfeld, the relationship has been termed as an odd couple affair (Yiar Hirschfeld, 29). This alliance is described as having been divided into three consecutive segments (Goodarzi, 23). Firstly, there is the initial segment witnessed when Tehran and Damascus replaced acrimony with partnership between February 1979 and May 1982. This was followed by the alliance exercising its influence in the Arab regional affairs between June 1982 and March 1985.
The last or third segment which took place between March 1985 and August 1988 is referred to as the last era and is viewed as a state of stagnation and descent. The dealings among the Arab states, Israel and Palestine in particular have a pivotal role in the objectives and the shape of the alliance. Moreover, the shift in Syria- Iraqi relations has contributed to shaping the alliance. This is explained by the fact that Syria began to make overtures to Iran rather than Iraq after the Iranian revolution.
The judgment by Hafiz al-Asad followed denying Iran public support to conduct military exercises in the east for fear of domestic and regional political repercussions on the regime (Goodarzi, 33). This identifies the fear of political and military sanctions that Syria has in respect to the alliance with Iran. In addition, Syria dreads being sidelined by the other Arab countries for taking sides in the conflict. Syria alignment with the new religious establishment can only be unwritten in the perspective of inter Arab and Syria domestic politics.
For instance, Syria-Iraq relation failed to materialize after the former was accused of having a hand in the attempt to topple Baghdad’s Ba’ath’s regime. Realizing its instability, Assad continued to cultivate closer relations with Tehran (Goordazi, 17). This was the best resolution for the leader as it reserved the relevance of Syria in the Middle East politics since the crevices between the US and Iraq had started to show. The alignment was strategic as the elimination of Iraq would eventually have them as the force to reckon with both regionally and internationally.