Paris, 23 May (IPS) The confirmation by both Israel and Syria that they are talking to each other directly on the possibilities of signing a peace treaty thanks to mediation of Turkey has several corollaries, which are the conditions of each side for such an event, but for sure, it wold be the hardest blow to the Islamic Republic of Iran in decades.
For Syria, it is the complete recovery of all the territories it lost to Israel in previous wars, particularly the strategic Golan Mountains;
A peace between Syria and Israel would help Iranian rulers understand that nationalism is stronger than religion.It will help ending the isolation of Syria in the Arab world, and finally, it will help Hezbollah to become a true Lebanese Party, not a puppet in the hands of Iranians.
For The Jewish State, it means that Damascus cut all supports for the Iran-backed, Lebanese Hezbollah organization, as well as for other radical Arab and Palestinian groups, like Hamas.
In case they reach an agreement, not only it would constitute a historic event, but also have tremendous dramatic consequences for the volatile region of the Middle East, placing some of the major players in their real context and roles:
Ending decades of support for the Hezbollah Organisation means not only the cutting of the umbilical cord that links the Shi’a-based Lebanese force to the Islamic Republic of Iran, but also the end of the so-called “strategic relation” that was established between Tehran and Damascus in 1980, the day after the hanged Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, attacked Iran.
The decision of Hafez el Assad, the father of the present Iraqi President, Bashar el Assad, for siding with non Arab Persia against an Arab nation was not because of the his love for the new Iranian regime, a theocracy, but a calculation based on his hate for both Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi regime, ruled by a rival faction of the same Baath Party that was also ruling Syria.
Also with his legendary “wisdom”, he was almost sure that Iran, with its huge size and population compared to Iraq, could not lose the war, contrary to what most other Arab (and also Western) leaders were thinking.
His calculation paid off: Not only he increased the influence of his regime because of this odd “privileged” relation the new Iranian regime, he also received billions and billions in financial help from the new rulers of Iran, strengthened its position in neighbouring Lebanon thanks to the Lebanese Shi’as that Iran had helped in becoming a strong military-political force, not only in Lebanon, but also as a tool against Israel.
For the Iranian, ther Syrians would "never sacrifice their strategic ties to Iran for some barren lands of Golan hills".
That Syria would be ready to make peace with Israel in counterpart of recovering the whole of the Golan Heights shows the entire gap that basically separates the Syrian regime and its leaders, secular and nationalists, from the Iranian ayatollahs, Islamists and anti-nationalists, as shown by a recent article published by the hard line daily Keyhan, considered as the mouthpiece of Ayatollah Ali Khameneh-’i, the leader of the Islamic republic of Iran.
Written almost a month ago when news surfaced that Turkey is engaged in mediation between Tel Aviv and Damascus, Keyhan argued that “under no circumstance Syria would not sacrifice its strategic relations with a powerful regime like that of the Islamic Republic of Iran for some parcels of insignificant lands of the Golan hills”.
As nationalists, the Syrians are “naturally” attached to their soil and are ready to talk even to the Devil to recover every millimeter of their land lost to the enemy.
As Islamists, the Iranian ruling ayatollahs “naturally” have no particular sentiment for any specific land, being Iranian or not. Their aim is the “Umma”, or the Nation of Islam, of which Syria is a small part, their philosophy is the Will of the Almighty. “The same as He made us victorious over the Shah, who was in possession of one of the region’s most powerful army and was backed by the world’s most powerful nation, the United States, the same, He can take everything back. You have to obey by his will as well, if you are worth His will, you will win over your enemies”, Grand Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini is reported to have told Yasser Arafat, the late Palestinian hero, when he rushed to visit him after the victory of the Islamic Revolution of 1979, in the hope of getting a foothold in the oil-rich province of Khouzistan in reward for the help he had offered Khomeini’s revolution.
A peace between Syria and Israel would help Iranian rulers understand that nationalism is stronger than religion. It would help them understand that Iran’s place is not in the Arab Middle East, but in Asia. That their importance in the region does not come from the religion, but from the Iranian people, the Iranian culture and the old Iranian civilization. That no Arab country, except may be Egypt, would ever be a trusted friend, as seen by the pro-Arab stance that Damascus always adopted in all conferences and meetings where the situation of three Iranian islands of the Persian Gulf claimed by the United Arab Emirates was an issue.
It will help ending the isolation of Syria in the Arab world, a situation mostly because of its counter-nature relations with Tehran, and getting back to its natural space, without cutting off ties with Iran.
And finally, it will help Hezbollah to become a true Lebanese Party, not a puppet in the hands of Iranians. ENDS SYRIA ISRAEL 23508