Assad’s Devil’s Bargain on Display with Iran Meetings :: Middle East Forum

The Syrian regime is concerned that Russia could be shifting its focus to Ukraine. That means Syria's regime will have to go it alone on some issues. It is concerned and wants to showcase some legitimacy.

Fearful that Russia is focusing on Ukraine, Assad is reaching out to Iran, Egypt, Jordan, and the UAE.

As such, Assad has done some outreach. He has been talking to the Egyptians and Jordanians, and he even visited the UAE on a major trip. The Syrian regime would like to normalize its relations with the Arab League. Assad spoke to King Abdullah of Jordan last October, but the kingdom is nonplussed by Syrian regime-backed drug smuggling.

So what does Assad want from Iran? He wants to showcase that he has some power and equality in the relationship, when he knows that his regime is weak and poor. He is boasting to have won the war for Syria's “prestige and pride.”

That doesn't help Assad because it means Russia's foreign minister and others can't run the ball for the Syrian regime in international forums. It also means Russia can't concentrate as much on Syria.