Power change in Syria will weaken Iran's influence in region

Politics Materials 21 May 2011 14:45 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 21 / Trend A.Tagiyeva /

If President Bashar al-Assad's regime falls in Syria, Tehran would lose a strategic partner in the face of Damascus, Expert on the Middle East at the Lebanese University Ali Bakir said. This would weaken Iran's influence in the region, resulting in a changed situation in countries such as Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, he added.

"The power change in Syria will affect Iran's position by changing the situation in the whole region" Bakir told Trend over a telephone from Beirut.

He said the fall of the Assad regime in Syria could also weaken a threat of the "Shiite crescent."

Jordan's King Abdullah II warned about a danger of the "Shiite crescent" in 2004. He meant the spread of a Shiite political activism from Iran and Iraq toward Syria, Lebanon and the Persian Gulf.

Bakir said major changes will be observed throughout the region as a result of the power change in Syria.

"The power change in Syria will differ from the regime changes in Tunisia and Egypt," Bakir added.

Baki said unlike the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, where was a certain leader representing the opposition, Syria lacks such an opposition leader. This is linked with the fact that the Syrian authorities pursued a strict policy hindering the opposition to strengthen its position and determine leader.

"Assad's policy restricted the activities of the opposition," he added.

Anti-government riots in Syria began in Deraa on March 25. The reason for riots was the arrest of teenagers writing anti-government slogans on walls. These riots later spread to other parts of the country. The population went on streets demanding the release of arrested students. Demonstrations were held in the cities of Latakia, Baniyas, Homs, Hama, and in several suburbs of Damascus.

The demonstrators demanded the holding of political reform and democratization of political life.

Opposition protests in Syria continue despite a government-declared wide-scale program of reforms. Particularly, the emergency law is now abolished in the country. Abolishment of the emergency law that had been in effect since 1963 was the key demand of the opposition.
The constitutional provision, according to which the ruling Arab Socialist Renaissance (Ba'ath) is a "leading and guiding force in society", is expected to be abolished soon.