HomeFeaturesDailyBriefingsRapidReconSpecial ReportsAbout Us

Ahmadinejad, Syria and the Fear Factor

Nothing motivates a nation or regime like fear. It was raw fear which created a relatively quiet and retracting (and relatively cooperative) Iran in the wake of the American response to the attacks of September 11, 2001. It is also fear which Iran wields as it shepherds its Syrian ally under pressure today.

From the Jerusalem Post today, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warns Syria not to side with the Americans, as he seemingly perceives Syria buckling under enormous pressure as the public release of North Korean participation in building the destroyed Syrian nuclear plant is released. (Iran's hands are in the Syrian nuclear pot up to the elbows as well.)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issued a warning to Syria on Thursday not to side with the Americans.

"We must always be prepared to thwart the plans of the US in the region," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem in Teheran.

According to the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), Ahmadinejad said that "the Americans are on the verge of destruction" and that "anyone who sides with them will also go the same way."

This amounts to beating the sticks of rhetoric together, as Syria clearly does not perceive that "the Americans are on the verge of destruction," but rather that the Syrian regime itself must be far closer to such a finality.

Just follow the handful of related items in today's DailyBriefing, partially reproduced below.

SYRIAN REACTOR STRIKE - NORTH KOREAN DESIGN
Intel: North Korea Helped Syria Develop Nuclear Program - ABC
U.S. Sees North Korean Links to Reactor - New York Times
Accurate October Speculation: Israel's Case for Syria Strike: Apparent Spy Had Hard Evidence - ABC

Related Developments?
Israel and Syria Hint at Progress on Golan Heights Deal - New York Times
Ahmadinejad warns Syria not to side with the Americans - Jerusalem Post
IAEA Says Iran Agrees to Clarify Nuclear Activity - VOA
'Progress' made during NoKor visit by US delegation on nuclear dispute - Jerusalem Post
Report: Insurgency leader Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri captured? Update: Given up by Syria? - Hot Air

The question answered by observing Syrian actions is this: On any given day, does Bashar Assad fear the United States and Israel more than it fears Iran and its Hizballah foreign legion next door?

Syria is in a vice.

1 Comment

Indeed, though not openly threatened by its Iran aligned neighbours, and even with the need to cooperate with them on various issues, the balance of loyalties whether religious, clan, political, regime etc must be very much in play at the moment, as the prospect of reform in a westward looking direction may appear a more sensible solution in many ways.Please be aware that the head of state does not nescessarily hold the ultimate say either in this case. How to encourage that realignment while there is resilient oposition within the ranks of the regime is a slightly different matter, as they would be speaking to their traditional allies both before and after any negotiation, and any decision.