Doubt Rattles Tehran over Putin, Assad Intentions
Iran’s cleric-led regime is concerned about “unspoken intentions” of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syria's regime head Bashar al-Assad about forcing Tehran to exit the Syrian conflict once and for all.
Sharp anti-Russia criticism has been circulated in Iran media over the past few days about Russia closing the curtain on Iranian presence in Syria.
The front page of the Sazendcki, a newspaper close to the government of President Hassan Rouhani, published a picture of Assad on its front page with a headline doubting whether the Syrian regime head had crossed Iran.
More so, the article raised speculation about the return of the Syrian regime to participate in the Arab League, in addition to giving Israel the green light to maintain its status quo.
Above that, Iran media is casting doubts around Putin's role in the new Russian-Syrian strategy, and whether Assad will return to his pre-war political stances.
On the other hand, a ‘deal’ aspired to by the Israeli right sees exchanging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s support to the US decision to exit the nuclear agreement with Tehran for a US recognition of Israel's old move to annex occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, denied that Iran had conducted negotiations with Israel in Jordan, in response to reports last week about the gathering of the two parties in Amman.
Instead, he explained that the return of security to Syria and Iraq is “a warning bell to the end of the golden age of security enjoyed by Israel.”
The reports coincided with the announcement of an Israeli-Russian strategy for withdrawal of Iranian troops from southern Syria in return for Israel's acceptance of Assad's survival.
In this regard, Shamkhani denied the presence of Iranian forces in southern Syria in the first place, which was interpreted by the Iranian media as an implicit recognition of the withdrawal of Iranian forces from those areas.
Iranian media went further accusing Russia of starting a “new game” to secure more gains in Syria after post ISIS’ collapse, accusing it of “betraying Iran and the axis of resistance” by rapprochement with Israel and the US.
In light of rising doubts, another reformist newspaper ‘Qanon’ (Persian for law) drew sharp criticism against Tehran's Russian allies and published on its front page a picture of Putin under the title “Deception.”