“There is no longer any doubt that Tehran will do whatever it takes to protect its proxy and crony in Damascus.”
During his trip to New York for the U.N. General Assembly meeting, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad piously spoke of a new Iranian diplomatic proposal to resolve the crisis in Syria, where Iran’s friend and ally Bashar al Assad is conducting a campaign of extreme violence against the Syrian people. Since the Assad regime sought to obliterate an uprising that began with peaceful anti-government protests in March 2011, more than 30,000 Syrian men, women and children have been killed; nearly a million have been internally displaced, and 300,000 have fled to neighboring countries.
"I will do everything in my power to create stability, peace and understanding in Syria," Mr. Ahmadinejad said. When questioned in an interview about charges that Iran is in fact aiding Assad’s brutal attempt to cling to power, he categorically denied it. The problem with his denial is that Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, recently admitted publicly that members of the IRGC are operating inside Syria -– to provide, in his words, “counsel and advice.”
But Iran’s support for the Syrian government goes well beyond “counsel and advice,” as Susan Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN pointed out recently when she addressed the Security Council about Iran. Citing Iran’s “longstanding, well documented smuggling of weapons” in defiance of UN sanctions, Ms. Rice noted that “Iran’s arms exports to the murderous Assad regime in Syria are of particular concern.” Referencing the UN’s Iran Panel of Experts report of May 2012 which concluded that Syria is now “the central party to illicit Iranian arms transfers,” Ambassador Rice urged all states in the region to “work together and redouble their efforts to deny, inspect and seize illicit Iranian shipments, including transfers via air corridors, in line with the cargo inspection provisions of Security Council resolution 1929.”
At the September 28 Ad Hoc Ministerial Meeting on Syria in New York, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “There is no longer any doubt that Tehran will do whatever it takes to protect its proxy and crony in Damascus.”
Syria will not have a chance for peace and stability until Bashar al Assad stops massacring his people with the help of what Secretary of State Clinton has called his “most important lifeline” – Iran.