IranMiddle EastSyria

Tehran welcomes détente between Syria, Arab countries, says US naturally worried

The spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry says the reestablishment of relations between Syria and other Arab countries of the region will benefit both sides, and this is why the US is very concerned about this issue.

Saeed Khatibzadeh made the remarks in a Thursday interview with Russia’s Sputnik news agency when he was asked about a recent visit to Syria by the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates.

“It is natural for the US to be concerned about development of cordial and regional relations between Arab countries and Syria, because this development not only shows reduction of differences among the Arab countries, but will have untoward consequences for Washington, including the failure to achieve its evil goals,” Khatibzadeh said.

He added that the failure of the Zionist regime in fomenting sedition and isolating Arab countries is another outcome of improved relations between Syria and those countries.

This failure will be intensified as Arab countries head toward mending fences with Syria one after the other, the Iranian spokesman said.

“Syria has always been one of the most important and most influential countries in the Arab world and the region, and Syria’s renewed presence in the region will lead to further growth and dynamism in this region,” Khatibzadeh stressed.

He further noted that the strengthening of relations between Syria and other Arab countries would be in the interests of both parties and that the fruits of such relations would be more so picked by other Arab countries than by Syria.

In recent months, observers have noted, there has been a race among Arab countries to mend their ties with the Syrian government, ten years after the beginning of a conflict in Syria during which key Arab countries tried to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

The change of approach toward the Damascus government began in the aftermath of the United States’ hasty and disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, where Washington left its allies, including the Ashraf Ghani’s government, alone against the Taliban militant group.

According to commentators, the US military exit from Afghanistan is construed in the Arab world as a prelude to a US military withdrawal from Iraq and Syria, the realization of which would leave behind the Arab states that have been deeply involved in the two countries.

On Tuesday, the United Arab Emirates’ foreign minister traveled to Damascus for the first time after a decade, with  Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan meeting top Syrian officials, including President Assad.

The new approach adopted by the UAE, which has proven to be much quicker than other Arab countries in making considerable foreign policy shifts to secure its interests, was welcomed by Assad as “realistic and correct.”

On Tuesday, US State Department quickly reacted to the development, with spokesman Ned Price saying the Biden administration “will not express any support for efforts to normalize” relations with Assad.

“When it comes to our position on the Assad regime, look, we will not normalize or upgrade our diplomatic relations with the Assad regime, nor do we support other countries normalizing or upgrading their relations,” Price said during a press briefing.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since 2011.

In recent years, the US has been maintaining an illegal military presence on Syrian soil, collaborating with militants against Syria’s legitimate government, stealing the country’s crude oil resources, bombing the positions of the Syrian army, and anti-terror popular forces, all the while imposing crippling sanctions on Damascus.

Some regional countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, have also provided the militants with arms and financial support to overthrow the Syrian government.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and millions more displaced since the beginning of the conflict in Syria.

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