In a sad and almost humorous development in the Middle Eastern saga of American abdication of leadership, the Obama administration has invited Iran to sit at the table in the Syrian peace talks to be held in Vienna this week. Russia, Syria and Turkey will also attend the talks. The White House is spinning Iran’s invitation as a positive way for any eventual peace deal to be more sustainable. In actuality, it simply is recognition that Russia and Iran now call the shots in the region and will dictate to the U.S. what the outline of any “peace deal” will entail.
As the pundits say, Russia and Iran have changed the facts on the ground. The facts are that the Assad regime is there to stay, backed by Russian air power and Iranian troops. The Shia-Russian alliance is there to stay as well.
The Syrian opposition obviously opposed Iran’s involvement. The BBC reported Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham’s comments, “We have reviewed the invitation, and it was decided that the foreign minister would attend the talks.” Iran’s Fars news agency said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had discussed participation in the Vienna talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov by phone on Tuesday. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov later told reporters that Russia wanted a “widening of the dialogue” on Syria.
Along with the abandonment of Israel’s security in the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran in allowing the Islamic theocracy to obtain a nuclear weapon, the White House is now confirming it will allow Iran to become the Middle East hegemon, backed by Russian arms sales. This reality has become especially clear as Iran has continued to flout the terms of the deal by recently conducting missile tests.