Strategic Analysis of 2014 Crisis in Syria: Resistance vs. Interventionism

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Behzad Khoshandam
Ph.D. Candidate in International Relations & Expert on International Issues

The 2014 crisis in Syria is continuation of the crisis resulting from the Arab Spring, Arab-Arab conflict, and the huge shock experienced by Arab security complex, which has left its mark on the world politics since 2011.

From an Iranian viewpoint, the 2014 crisis in Syria marks the acme of two major approaches: resistance vs. interventionism. The reason why this crisis is important to Iran's national security should be sought in such factors as Iran's strategic partnership with Syria on various regional issues including the Arab-Israeli conflict, resistance in the face of transregional forces, and common approaches adopted by both countries to issues related to the Levant. From this viewpoint, the Syrian crisis is important for Iran due to various ideological and identity-related reasons and as a result of the role played by various actors in the Middle East.

When analyzing trends, driving forces, effective players and forces as well as megatrends and megastructures that set the course of this crisis, one may point to such factors as expansionism, issue linking policy, militarization, deregionalization, interventionism, securitization, Shiaphobia, and deinstitutionalization process in the Middle East region.

From an Iranian viewpoint, it should be noted that the 2014 crisis in Syria is important because it paves the way for regional and transregional forces to destabilize security, strategic, and trade arrangements in the Middle East region. As a result, it serves to provide more breathing space for such regional players as Israel.

As for the future outlook of the Syrian crisis from an Iranian standpoint, there are two future prospects conceivable for this crisis, which include the end of interventionism and triumph of resistance as a result of the actions taken by all players involved in this crisis.

The crisis in Syria is of extraordinary importance to Iran due to a host of considerations. Iran's reactions to this crisis have constituted a wide spectrum, which includes frequent emphasis on invincibility of the axis of resistance in the region, declaring Tehran’s support for a political solution to this crisis through negotiations and international efforts, presenting various initiatives for the expeditious resolution of the crisis, supporting the people of Syria against extremist groups and acts of violence, and finally, issuing frequent warnings about serious consequences of the escalation of ethnic and religious conflicts in Syria.

From an Iranian viewpoint, the 2014 crisis in Syria and struggles among various groups in this part of the world have posed a major challenge to international peace and security. This crisis has not been the first crisis in the regional security complex of the Middle East, and will certainly not be the last crisis in this restive region. Like all other international crises, the Syrian crisis is approaching its final resolution, but its various dimensions and consequences will plague future generations in this regional security complex for many years to come. The 2014 crisis in Syria will come to its end, but fighting the global arrogance through confrontation with transregional forces, and continuation of resistance against regional extremist currents in order to create balance in the region will continue to be among major items of Iran's foreign policy agenda in the face of developments in the Middle East. The fate of the 2014 crisis in Syria will determine the fate and future course of interaction, confrontation, or reconciliation among regional and transregional actors in the Middle East for many long years into the future.

Key Words: Strategic Analysis, Crisis in Syria, Resistance, Interventionism, Arab-Arab Conflict, Transregional Forces, Militarization, Deregionalization, Securitization, Shiaphobia, Deinstitutionalization, Khoshandam

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*Photo Credit: CBS