Moving Past Iran’s Narrative on Syria

As the Syrian refugee crisis makes headlines and affects countries throughout the Western world, the Iranian involvement in Syria is beginning to prompt more commentary from various English-language media outlets, which seem to be rapidly cluing in on the fact that things are much more complicated (not to mention sinister) than the picture Iran tries to paint – of a united Western-Iranian front against ISIS.

Last week, Al-Arabiya published an op-ed by Iranian-American academic Majid Rafizadeh, in which he analyzed the shifts in Iranian troop deployment to Syria. Rafizadeh concluded that by sending larger numbers of International Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) fighters to Syria rather than relying mostly on the elite Quds Force, as it did previously, Iran is increasing its public visibility and making its role in the Syrian conflict more conspicuous – both to its Middle Eastern neighbors and to Western states. According to Rafizadeh, Iran’s aims in doing so are twofold: it is “offering itself to the West as an indispensable regional player and partner,” while also ensuring that the West will be compelled to turn “a blind eye to Iran’s regional interventionist policies.”

Over at The Globe and Mail, the curiosity of Nazila Fathi – who fled Iran for Canada following the crackdown on journalists during the Green Revolution of 2009 – was also piqued by the rise in the number of IRGC fighters and fatalities in Syria. Like Rafizadeh, she too concluded that the rising numbers “reflect Iran’s deep involvement in Syria,” after Tehran announced in June that it had only “lost 400 men” in the Syrian conflict since 2011. Despite Iran’s prior insistence that it had only sent advisors to Syria rather than actual troops, the extent of Revolutionary Guard involvement (including Pakistani and Afghani fighters trained by the IRGC) confirms that “Iran is involved in a full-fledged war” in Syria – partially on the pretext of fighting Tehran’s own ISIS enemies outside its borders.

In light of the number of Iranian troops we now know to be active in Iran, can Iran’s “regional interventionism” in Syria and elsewhere, as Rafizadeh describes it, still be ascribed to a “defensive” policy – fighting in Syria in order to, as Fathi writes, “lessen the risks of an attack at home”? Clearly, some media outlets are moving past the Iranian narrative.

Blogging & updating on #Iran related news- focusing on Politics, Human Rights & the Iranian nuclear Program. Followed by top Middle East Analysts, Reportes & think tanks.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Iranian Foreign Relations, Iranian Nuclear Crisis, Iranian Politics, IRGC, Media Coverage, Military
2 comments on “Moving Past Iran’s Narrative on Syria
  1. […] of 80 Afghanis for dancing at an Eid al-Fitr celebration (which has not prevented Iran from deploying Afghanis to fight in Syria on its behalf, while forging new ties with the Taliban). Or the demolition of yet another Baha’i […]

  2. […] world, including by arming its proxies, adopting neo-imperialist policies and aims, exacerbating regional conflicts, and sponsoring terror attacks throughout the globe (impinging on other countries’ sovereignty in […]

What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow us in any way you like!
  Like on FacebookFollow on Twitterstumble uponFlickrPinterest

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 38,315 other followers

Visuals to Share
Visitor Count
  • 1,384,467
Follow us on Twitter
%d bloggers like this: