Alwaght-As the Syrian war nears its end and Syrian Arab Army delivers heavy blows to terrorist groups, reconstruction of the massively devastated regions rises to become the main obsession. As a victim of heavy-handed terrorism, Syria has widespread devastation that calls the international community to help rebuild.
Just contrary to the primary expectations, the US and Europe have said that they will not join the world's contribution to the reconstruction of the war-hit country, though the Syrian government has not demanded help from them.
What is behind this hasty comment on Syria rebuilding by the Western parties? And will they succeed in their efforts to prevent Russia and Iran from joining the reconstruction? Seeking answers to these questions, Alwaght has interviewed Hassan Hanizadeh, a Tehran-based international affairs expert.
Failed scenarios push the West to reject to help Syria reconstruct
Touching on reasons behind Western countries reluctant to participate in Syria rebuilding, the Iranian pundit said over the past years of the crisis in Syria, the West tested on the ground a range of scenarios to redraw the Syrian political and geopolitical map to its advantage but all of its efforts have failed. Now, they seek to deal a blow to the Russia-Iran camp, a staunch ally to Damascus government, by preventing the world countries from helping Syria's reconstruction.
“The US and the European countries, both of which losing the conflict to Russia and Iran, seek to stop Tehran and Moscow from taking part in the reconstruction process while they themselves lack the legitimacy to come on board. Using a massive propagandistic campaign, the Western front seeks to create an antipathetic wave against the two allies in a bid to weasel out of the reconstruction responsibility without coming subject to the public opinion pressures. In general, I believe that in the future the Americans and Europeans will continue to forge pretexts to digress the case for the ultimate aim of getting Russia and Iran off the circle of reconstruction contributors.”
Washington unable to block Moscow and Tehran from the rebuilding efforts
Alwaght asked the Iranian expert about how effective and successful are the US Department of Treasury’s moves to impose new sanctions on Russia and Iran under the excuse of their presence in Syria's reconstruction. Mr. Hanizadeh said, “According to the record of the developments over the past years, it is quite noticeable that the US cannot keep Iran and Russia from helping Syria rebuild the destructions. This is because the Syrian government, as a legitimate administration, can decide on the country’s future. So, apparently, the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will never bow to the possible Washington pressures.”
The expert continued that despite the American lack of strength to block Iran and Russia from rebuilding of Syria, Washington will not spare any effort to impose pressures on the two Syria’s allies in the country’s equations. “Sanctions on Iran and Russia are largely predictable. Odds are that this country [the US] will foist a ban also on Syria itself.”
Iran’s help to Syria reconstruction is not financial interests-driven
The international affairs expert commented on the real intentions of Iran, Russia, and even China behind helping Syria rise again, saying Iran in its general strategy does not seek economic interests behind helping Syria's reconstruction, as Syria has become a relatively poor country with limited financial resources.
“The country exports a very small amount of oil. But because Syria is part of the Axis of Resistance, Tehran views it as a responsibility to help Damascus rebuild its economic, financial, civil infrastructure. Russia also helps because of its strategic interests in Syria. It operates the Tartus-based military base which is home to its forces on the Mediterranean coast. They [Russians] intensely seek to save their position and even expand their influence in the region. And finally China, as an international power with tight trade competition with the US and with plans to take an active role in the West Asia region, works hard in order to not lose the chance of presence in Syria as an international gate," Hanizadeh concluded.