Monday, 17 December 2012

The Latest from Iran (17 December): Seeking Influence on Syria

0830 GMT: Defection Watch. An EA correspondent brings news of an interesting twist in the long-running case of General Ali Reza Asgari, the former Deputy Minister of Defense who disappeared in Turkey in 2007....

Iran Police Chief Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam revealed in a speech this weekend that Asgari, pushed out of office when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became President in 2005, was imprisoned for 18 months before he was kidnapped or defected.

0530 GMT: State media are filled this morning with proclamations of the Foreign Ministry's six-point plan to "restore peace to Syria". It calls for all sides to establish a "national reconciliation committee" to "pave the way for the establishment of a transitional government". There will be "free and competitive elections" for a new Parliament and an assembly to draft a new Constitution in preparation for a Presidential contest.

The plan also sets out the release of all Syrians arrested on political charges and the trial of anyone accused of atrocities, and it pledges humanitarian aid.

Despite the headlines, the plan is far from new. Iran presented a version of it when Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi visited Damascus, after the ill-fated attempt to work with Egypt and Saudi Arabia on a resolution. It does not appear to shift from the starting position that President Assad will remain in power during the transition.

Perhaps more importantly, the intervention is unlikely to cause any ripples beyond the Islamic Republic. The regime's repeated invocation of its plans has had little effect on the politics around the crisis, let alone on the military situation that is increasingly threatening the Assad regime.

from EA WorldView: EA Iran

Posted via email from lissping