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Damascus and Tehran: Don’t Leave Us the Sayyed! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The observer feels that the Syrians and the Iranians are on the verge of clashing with one another as a result of the intensity of the race towards America. The Syrian regime will not let any opportunity slip without seeking Washington’s affection. The Syrians sent numerous messages to the Americans in order to get closer to them.

Damascus’ last message stated that as long as there is no political relationship, there would be no security cooperation with Washington. It also referred to the importance of American sponsorship of the peace process [between Syria and Israel]. The Syrian went to France with his eye firmly on Washington.

Tehran was just the same both overtly and covertly; once Washington announced that it would take part in the Geneva meeting to discuss the Iranian nuclear crisis, the Iranians rushed to welcome the Great Satan i.e. America.

Two days ago, an Iranian official told Asharq Al-Awsat that his country “has come to the final conclusion that the nuclear file issue is the key to the solution with regards to America.” The official went on to explain that his country has helped America in Afghanistan and Iraq and Washington has not changed its position towards Tehran. Therefore Tehran now believes that the key to America lies in the nuclear issue.

In the race and scramble to get to Washington, it seems that there could be, or there already has been, a split between the Syrian and Iranian allies as during an interview with our newspaper, the Iranian official said, “When Syria chose the principle of peace with Israel the Iranian leadership realized that Tehran must make its own strategic decisions independently and separately from what Syria is doing.”

Here we must mention that Tehran and Damascus always believed that America and Israel are synonymous. But what is important from Iran’s recent comments is that they mean that Syrian mediation with Tehran, as requested by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, failed before it even began.

After the Mediterranean Summit, I asked an Arab official if Sarkozy was serious when he requested Syrian mediation regarding Iran’s nuclear file. The official said, “Sarkozy is either a genius and wants to involve [Syrian President Bashir] Al Assad or he is reckless. If Al Assad goes to Iran having adopted the European position then he would be part of the confrontation with Tehran. If he does not mediate, the suspicions that the Syrians are not serious would be confirmed.”

The reason behind the required coordination between Syria and Iran is very simple. As both countries are scrambling to reach Washington, we ask for whom will they leave behind Iranian-affiliated Hezbollah especially that [its Secretary General Sayyed] Hassan Nasrallah says that the fate of the entire Ummah is resistance? So who will Nasrallah resist against if Syria and Israel, and Iran and America reconcile? It was Nasrallah who cost us 1200 lives and 4400 wounded and billions of dollars worth of damage in order to retrieve five prisoners without learning from Syria and Iran, which are both negotiating without having to fire a single bullet or shed any blood. Remind us of any house in Syria or Tehran that smashed its own windows based on the pretext of resistance.

What we fear is that after Nasrallah’s supporters reach America and Israel, he will launch resistance against the Arab world similar to the “great resistance” upon which he embarked on May 7 in the heart of Beirut.

Therefore we say: Coordinate amongst yourselves gentlemen before we are embroiled with the Sayyed!

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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