Blunting America’s Sanctions Against Iran

John Bolton

With representatives of the Trump Administration repeatedly making comments about Iran like this:

After 40 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has failed to fulfill its promises to uphold and safeguard the rights of its citizens. The 40th anniversary of the Iranian regime only serves to highlight four decades of failure and broken promises.

— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) February 11, 2019

 

..and this:

.@SecPompeo: The United States will continue to stand with the people of #Iraq as they chart a future based on Iraqi interests, not those dictated by #Iran. pic.twitter.com/fPpeFazrzs

— Department of State (@StateDept) October 3, 2018

 

…one would almost think that Iran has no friends anywhere in the world.  Much to Washington’s chagrin, recent developments would strongly suggest otherwise.

Here is an article from Iran’s Press TV:

On March 18, 2019, the Chairman of the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri met in Damascus with his counterparts, Syrian General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub and Iraqi Lieutenant General Othman al-Gahnimi to discuss future co-operation, particularly in the struggle against terrorism.  The three leaders believe that militants and terrorists were bankrolled by the United States at the beginning of the conflict in Syria in 2011 and that Russian assistance was required to reverse the course of the war and protect the Assad government.

Here is a key quote from the article:

Baqeri added that withdrawal of foreign forces that are present in Syria without any authorization from the country’s government is also top on the agenda of the three states.

Commenting on the presence of Iranian forces in Iraq and Syria, Baqeri said terrorists active in those countries posed a threat to Iran’s security, adding that the Islamic Republic dispatched its military advisors to the two Arab countries at their request.

Baqeri emphasized that no foreign armed forces should be deployed to any country in the region without its legal permission, adding that Iran will continue its fight against terrorists in Syria as long as the legal Syrian government demands it.

Here is a direct quote from the Major General:

[Those foreign] forces who are present in Syria without any authorization from the country’s government must leave the Syrian soil as soon as possible… 

As Iran has come to Syria at the official invitation of Syria’s government, the presence of other countries should also take place through the Syrian government’s coordination and authorization.”

When Iran’s Major General Baqeri refers to “foreign forces” that are present in Syria he is referring to the United States which has not received any form of permission from the Syrian government to participate in the ongoing conflict.   He also warned about the efforts made by the United States to fuel insecurity in the Middle East

During the meeting, Bashar al Assad met with the three key military personnel as shown in this picture from SANA:

Here is a quote from President al-Assad from the meeting:
 
Syria’s strong relation with both Iran and Iraq has been enhanced further during the war on terrorism and its backers in which the blood of the Syrian hero soldiers was mixed with that of the Iranian and Iraqi soldiers. The meeting, for the principles, mainly dignity and honor, which distinguish our peoples and of which we are proud, proves that Syria, Iran and Iraq are in the same battle and trench against the same enemy. 
 
On March 20, 2019, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shiogu met with President al-Assad to deliver a letter from President Vladimir Putin.  At the meeting, the two men discussed several key issues including the fight against international terrorism, Middle East security and post-conflict settlement including efforts to help Syrian refugees return home and improving the delivery of humanitarian aid.

 

Despite Washington’s attempts to isolate Iran, this meeting actually shows that there is a very strong alliance between Iran, Iraq and Syria.  What is particularly ironic about this alliance is the fact that one of the nations, Iraq, has been the “beneficiary” of a decade and a half of American state re-engineering.  Iran, Iraq and Syria along with Russia have all come to the realization that, by working together, they can protect each other from the terrorist threat that looms in the region.  By co-operating with each other, the four main parties involved in the Syrian conflict will blunt the impact of American sanctions against Iran and will only serve to increase Iran’s influence in the region, the exact opposite of Washington’s plan for the region.

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