Monday, May 5, 2014

With Washington’s Syria Gambit in Tatters, Iran’s ‘Smart Power’ Strategy Working

"... One of the more striking things about this story is that, according to the Wall Street Journal, the talks between the Syrian government and opposition fighters that produced this agreement were “brokered by the United Nations and the Iranian Embassy in Damascus.  Western discourse about Syria wants to limit any discussion of a “peace process” in Syria to the Geneva process—but the United States and its Western partners have rendered the Geneva process utterly dysfunctional by their continued insistence on Assad’s departure as an essential precondition for a political settlement.  By contrast, the Islamic Republic of Iran, by having a clear political strategy of supporting elections and by being willing to deal with all relevant players—even “a hard-line Sunni Muslim rebel group,” as the Wall Street Journal describes its interlocutors in Homs—is actually able to accomplish things on the ground in Syria.So, which parties are in fact marginalizing themselves in regional affairs by unreservedly aligning themselves with one side—and refusing to have anything to do with the other side—in the Syrian conflict? ...."

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