Coffee House

What Iran wants in Syria

10 February 2013

The Washington Post has an important story about how the Iranian regime is preparing for post-Assad Syria. The paper reports that American and Middle Eastern governments believe that Tehran is backing a 50,000 strong militia in the hope of keeping Assad in power and, if that’s not possible, defending its interests in the aftermath of his downfall.

Iran’s ultimate aim, the paper suggests, is the establishment of a client state on the coast. This would enable it to continue funneling weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon allowing it to maintain its influence in Lebanese politics and to carry on supporting terrorist attacks against Israel.


If the Assad regime does fall, it seems likely that Syria will become the new Lebanon: a country where proxy wars play out between various regional players.

PS Also worth reading this piece on Iran’s plunging fertility rate, strikingly Tehran and another of Iran’s largest cities have lower fertility rates than any US state

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  • chan chan

    Fertility is declining all over the Islamic world, with the most literate blazing the trail.

    Demographers are shocked, particularly at Iran. The decline they’ve managed in one generation took Europe 300 years.

    The bottom line is the more literate the female population, the lower the fertility rate. One of the reasons why the Taliban don’t like girls going to school.

    American writer David P.Goldman, aka Spengler, has written extensively on just this subject, including a book. His argument is that Islam cannot survive modernity, and is dying, not growing; the violence we’re seeing are its death throes. Problem is, those death throes could last 100 years…

  • Austin Barry

    A space monkey is the perfect simile for Iran: a simian intellect encompassed by modern technology, just like its Islamic chum Pakistan.

    Tehran does seem to be testing the limits of Israeli tolerance which is unwise, if not suicidal.

    • Daniel Maris

      I doubt Israel can do it (with conventional weapons) by themselves. The Iranians are not stupid. They’ve drilled into the mountainsides. What is required is a sustained campaign of interdiction which only the Americans in reality can deliver.

      • chudsmania

        But…..In mountainsides things have to come out sometimes…..Satellites are monitoring Iranian activities 24/7……Do you see where i’m coming from ?

        • Daniel Maris

          Yep, but Israel cannot maintain a sustained campaign (politically, economically, or militarily). If the Iranians can go in and open up the entrance after a strike then nothing has been achieved. Only sustained interdiction of multiple targets (road, rail, communications, ports, pylons, marshalling yards, specific factories etc) will work.

          • Wessex Man

            Letsjust stay out of it, it’s none of our business!!!!!!!!!

  • Daniel Maris

    The article on fertility rates is interesting. I’d noticed before that even Saudi Arabia’s rate had declined markedly.

    As I have said before, Islam is under a lot of pressure from the modern world. It’s really a question of holding our nerve and not giving an inch to Sharia here or abroad.

    But in the short to medium term I can’t see Iran doing anything but propping up Assad’s regime.

    • Patriccia Shaw

      A cornered animal is an animal at its most dangerous.
      The Israeli Government should remember this as it contemplates a proactive strike in Iran.
      Iran seeks to redress the Mid East balance of power by matching the Israeli nuclear capability.
      Were there to be a territorial or other military threat or action on the Tehran regime, then their Islamic Nuclear armed brothers in Islamabad may see fit to join the fray.

      • telemachus

        Never truer words
        I see nothing wrong with Iran putting another strong Islamic state next to Israel so that finally they might come to their senses and give the Brave Palestinians the independence which is their birthright

        • Hexhamgeezer

          I see the Comintern are up early.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Geography not your strongest weak point then. There are two countries between Israel and Iran so the latter will never be “next” to Israel until they invade Iraq and Jordan.

          Two names. Two avatars. One team-telemachus.

          • telemachus

            Read the above Syria and Israel abut

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