Syrian Foreign Policy towards Iran

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Syrian Foreign Policy Toward Iran: by Benjamin Zerden

Early Syrian Relations with Post-Shah Iran. 1979-1987

1. Hafez viewed Shah’s Iran relationship with Israel and the U.S as a “hold on the Arab World.” 2. After the revolution and as a testament to the support of the new anti-zionist -Iran, Syrian became the second county after the USSR to recognize the Iranian revolution.

Iraq war on Iran: Syria sided with Iran for two reasons:
1. Iraq was larger and more powerful nieghbour vying with Syria for a leadership role in the arab world. Both Baath ideologies yet regarded as competitors and after the 1966 split in the Arab Baath socialist party into two factions, centered in Baghdad and Syria, competition became fierce. 2. Iraq invasion diverted attention and resources from the Syrian struggle with Israel. Gulf countries that were supporting the Syrian struggle now diverted a lot of its attention and resources to Iraq against the Iranian revolution. Leaving Syria to contend with the Israeli military alone. 3. Iran was taking an aggressive rhetoric against Israel

4. Syria would use its relations with the USSR to move weapons from the USSR bloc to Iran against Iraq as well as deploy troops on the Iraqi borders and shut down the Iraq pipeline that ran through Syria.

The problem this alignment had with the other Arab states:
1. Against Arab unity as it was an alliance with a non arab state against an Arab neighbor 2. Syria did not want to balance the Arab world order against Iran as it meant that it would have to give up some degree and authority to Iraq or Saudi Arabia. Doing this would have not left Syria isolated in the Arab region though. 3. This fallout meant that Syria had to turn to the USSR in 1980 to sign a formal treaty in return for military aid. Syria also received oil from Iran on very favorable terms. 4. Syria was too related to Iran that an Iraq victory would mean a political defeat in hegemony for Syria. 5. The intergration of...
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