While Ahmadinejad was still holding the office and Iran’s nuclear case was intensified, the international wisdom had voted for overlooking Iran’s role in
international developments and even in the Syrian crisis, for the US and some of the European states believed in case Iran became involved in the negotiations about Syria, then not only would it jump out of isolation, but it would also dwell on it as a winning card in nuclear talks with the west.
But once the nuclear talks came to fruition and the JCPOA was agreed to be implemented, for the first time, Iran was invited to take part in the talks that could resolve the Syrian crisis. With Iran at the table, the Syrian talks had the first encounter of all the proponents and opponents of the topic around one table.
Before the initiation of the Vienna conference and even shortly after, every player in the talks strived to dominate the discussion ruling their own viewpoint as the “one”. Yet Saudi Arabia insists that during the transition period of the power and political discipline in Syria, Bashar Assad should not be given any part which is agreed by most of the participants, whereas Iran tends to keep him still during the transition.
On the other hand, Turkey who invested hugely on defeating Bashar Assad in Syria is now hearing the knock-knocks of terrorism right behind its borders as the ISIS is gaining increasing power in Syria. It also has to host torrents of immigrants on its soil and to take care of them has become an issue.
A constant supporter of Syria’s current government, Russia has boosted its military attacks in Syria to make Assad’s opponents understand that they need to forget the use of military force to depose him. Russia’s attacks in a way provided constant backup for Assad’s forces and prevented them from taking heavy hits, hence providing them with enough space to advance and conquer their cause.
The other side of the story shows that those European countries who, within the past 5 years, failed to bring peace back to Syria are now receiving Syrian refugees; a trend which can lay the toxic foundation for the ISIS members to penetrate Europe in disguise if the crisis continues.
The US, however, has penned a third scenario which could be implied from the words of the US Secretary of State, John Kerry. At the end of the Vienna conference, Kerry stated many are on the belief that in Syria, there are only 2 options, Assad and terrorism; so between these two, they simply choose Assad. But if there is a better alternative which is trusted by them, they would surely go for it. This scenario is exactly where Russia and Iran, known as Assad’s main advocators, play their roles, but hey own an entirely different view toward the American plot.
In Russia’s point of view, even if Syria becomes a scorched land, it can still be another Afghanistan which drags the US policies on the Middle East into fierce challenge, and therefore become a winning card in the Russia-US game. But as Iran sees it, Syria is a frontline against Israel, and in fact, a government that is in line with Iran in Syria can connect Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Syria and Iran against Israel; an approach which completely contradicts Saudi Arabia’s strategy and becomes fathoms to its efforts to weaken Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iran more than before in the Middle East, and that makes Syria’s future of serious importance to them. Future talks are whistling ahead and we should wait and see what gives and takes are to be spared between the effective players in the Syrian crisis to resolve the existing issue.