Sunday, April 13, 2014

How the Mullahs Prop Up Assad

by Majid Rafizadeh


This week, top Iranian officials, including deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian, pointed out that their assistance and aid to the Assad government is solely humanitarian and based on good will.

Iranian official state media made international news, which spread in the liberal mainstream media, by announcing that the Islamic Republic of Iran has delivered 30,000 tons of food supplies to Syria on Tuesday in order to assist the Syrian government in dealing with its food shortages created by the internal conflict, terrorism, and civil war.

Abdollahian insisted and emphasized that the Islamic Republic’s assistance to Syria is only restricted to humanitarian aid and goods such as medicine and food. He continued that the Islamic Republic is not involved in other military actions.

The double standards, hypocrisy, mendacity, and duplicity of the ruling clerics, Ayatollahs, and Iranian regime have been profoundly manifested in the actual geopolitical, economic, and geostrategic position they have taken on the Assad regime. Although the Obama administration has been incompetent and weak, with no particular foreign policy agenda towards Syria, the Ayatollahs have been very determined and clear about their stance towards Assad’s regime through their military, economic, advisory, intelligence support and their thousands of troops on the ground.

Recently, Tehran extended a $3.6 billion credit line to Damascus. The credit line enables Damascus to buy oil products from Tehran and assist in shoring up Syrian currency (Pound), which has significantly devalued in the last two years.

First of all, the Islamic Republic has been instrumental in preventing the Syrian government’s economy from collapsing.

Assad’s government lost its daily revenue of approximately 7 millions dollar from oil exports after the US and European countries banned oil exports from Damascus. Moreover, Damascus lost an estimated 7 billion dollars in revenue a year from tourism. Before the conflict, Syria had the capability of producing most of its domestic food necessities as well as exporting wheat.

Nevertheless, according to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP), Syria will hit a record low this year by producing 1.7 to 2 million tons of wheat. Iran’s economic support is not only pivotal in sustaining the economic status of Assad, but also in assisting the regime to pay for its army, militia groups, and intelligence forces.

In addition to the extension of billions of dollars in credit and economic assistance, the Islamic Republic has been playing a crucial function, through its proxy Hezbollah as well as the Quds Forces— a special forces unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps— to provide military, intelligence, geopolitical, strategic and advisory aid and backing to ensure that Assad’s government will retain its power for over the last three years of conflict. 

Iran’s Islamist proxy and ally, Hezbollah with the leadership of Hassan Nasrallah, as well as other militia groups have been sent by the Iranian regime, ruling cleric and Ayatollahs to wage street warfare and assist al-Assad.

Iranian Ayatollahs, who claim that Islam is the only true value supporting human rights and that the Islamist state is the only legitimate power system to fulfill this mission, have been providing the required military capabilities, training, intelligence and financial means for the Assad regime to continue the crack down, bombardment and violence.
According to the United Nations, the official documented numbers reveal that more than 150,000 people have been killed. In this, history’s most-documented manmade disaster, nine million Syrian civilians, roughly 42 percent of the population, have been forced out of their homes, according to the UN. This would be an equivalent of 132 million people in the United States being driven out of their houses. Among the refugees, an estimated number 1.3 millions are children, half a million less than the age of 6, where 90 percent do not have access to education and basic needs.

With the assistance of the Ayatollahs and Iranian leaders, and with their direct military interventionist policies, intelligence, sophisticated training, economic and advisory aid, the Syrian regime has recently intensified its bombardment of neighborhoods with missiles, heavy artillery, tanks, chemical weapons, poisonous gas, and explosive barrels.

With the backing and aid of the Islamist regime of Iran and with the direct interventionist policies of the Ayatollahs, approximately 700,000 homes have been ruined, unemployment reached 50 percent according to the Damascus-based Syrian Center for Policy Research, and approximately 50 percent of Syria’s hospitals damaged. Thousands of people have been dying from malnutrition impacts and easily preventable disease causes. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), 5.5 million children need urgent aid. Approximately one fifth of young girls are forced into marriage in neighboring Islamic countries.

This week, High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay briefed the U.N. Security Council and called for the opening of a case in International Criminal Court (ICC) for prosecuting war criminals in Syria.

The UN Security Council will have to unanimously vote for approval and referral of the case to the ICC, but it goes without saying that Russia and China will veto the referral and will shield the Syrian regime.  If the referral passes though, Iranian officials, who have been instrumental in preserving and ratcheting up the ongoing violence by keeping Assad in power through their continued aid, should be held responsible in the International Criminal Court as well. Without the Islamist regime of Iran, Assad would not have been capable of keeping power so long and the war would have not been ratcheted up to this level with this heartbreaking record of human rights violations.

Majid Rafizadeh


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

No comments:

Post a Comment