Expert Opinions The Eastern Perspective
The Role of Russia, Iran and Turkey in the Post-War Reconstruction of Syria

According to Iran’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Seyed Kazem Sajjadpour, who is also president of the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), Russia, Iran and Turkey complement each other well in the post-war reconstruction of Syria, which is a multi-dimensional process. He was interviewed by valdaiclub.com on the sidelines of the Valdai Club Middle East Conference in Moscow.

Iran, Russia, and Turkey play an important role in Syria. An interesting aspect of the process is the way that the three nations complement each other: each adds value in restoring peace and security in the country. They can be of equal help in the nation’s multi-layered reconstruction process. It is a multi-dimensional issue; the parties must address social reconstruction, political reconstruction, economic reconstruction, and even diplomatic reconstruction.

The diplomatic reconstruction process is already underway, and political reconstruction is happening due to the Astana and, most importantly, Sochi meetings, where the parties achieved good results. The economic and social reconstruction of the country, however, requires more patience. For economic reconstruction we need money, investment projects and first of all, the will to embrace reconstruction. Social reconstruction and economic reconstruction are connected. This is not limited to building construction; it is also necessary to repair the people’s emotional wounds, so that they may achieve psychological and mental stability. The three players are in a good position to help the Syrian people.

As for the other external stakeholders, they have different track records and are motivated by different factors. The United States, China and Europe – they all are different. First of all, they should not inflame the situation. It is better to call it escalation freezing. The United States is still adding gasoline to the fire in the region.

Second, the external actors should also accept the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all regional states.

Third, they should agree that the people of the region must be ready take responsibility for their own security and decision-making.

Iran, 40 years after the Islamic revolution, is not dependent on anyone in providing for its own security, economy and politics. Iranian policy does not depend on what is going on in Washington or in other places. The same must be true for the people of the region. A type of win-win, inclusive regional process should be supported and not prevented. However, if you look at what happened in Warsaw, this conference promoted polarization. It means that not all players are included in the regional decision-making process.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.