How Russia’s Vision for the Middle East Is Rigged Against Iran

Stanislav Ivanov writing for the prestigious Russian state-run Valdai Club recently described ‘Israel and most of the Arab countries’ as viewing Turkey’s military presence in Syria as a counterweight to that of Iran. He also added that Iran and Turkey both waged a ‘fierce struggle’ to install a ‘puppet government’ in Damascus. The Russian perspective is usually channeled, directly or indirectly, by its assorted major think tanks and media outlets and a very clear cut yet under-noticed aspect of Russia’s views on Iran has been made clear as daylight here.

That ‘Most of the Arab countries’ consider Iran’s presence in Syria as something that requires a ‘counterweight’ is a fallacious notion for a number of reasons. Iran’s key allies in the region are Arabs, such as Hezbollah, the Syrian Arab Army and much of the Iraqi government, clerical establishment and de facto military in the form of the Popular Mobilization Units. The same goes for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other groups in Gaza.