New Annan proposal puts the Syrian crisis in Iranian and Russian hands (DEBKAfile) Special Report 06/06/12 11:18 PM (GMT+02:00)
Israel remains dormant despite the serious consequences to its
strategic and security situation threatened by the new proposal the
UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Kofi Annan is to present to the UN
Thursday, June 7, for saving his peace plan. The nub of his proposal,
DEBKAfile’s sources disclose, is the creation of a “contact group”
for handling the hot Syrian potato. It is to be composed of the five
permanent Security Council members (US, UK, France, Russia and China)
plus Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The proposal has won the blessing of the Obama administration,
meaning its consent to letting the two powers that will dominate the
contact group, Russia and Iran, determine the course and outcome of
the Syrian crisis.
Washington believes that only they have the clout in the Syrian army
for bringing about Bashar Assad’s removal and his replacement in
Damascus by a provisional military regime.
Washington also hopes, according to our sources, that this gesture
will give Moscow a strong incentive to lean hard on Tehran for
concessions at the next round of its talk with the six world powers
on June 13.
Neither Iran nor Moscow have promised the US anything of the sort,
but the administration hopes Iran will start being forthcoming on its
nuclear program after being permitted to assume a central role in
There is less optimism outside administration circles and in Israel.
They expect from Tehran nothing more at the next round of talks than
token nuclear concessions, and none at all toward curtailing its work
on a nuclear weapon.
However the Obama administration appears to have opted for this
course, even though it is the first time since the outbreak of the
Arab Revolt in December 2010 that the United States is willing to let
go of a major Middle East crisis and allow its foremost Middle East
rivals, Moscow and Tehran, to take charge.
DEBKAfile reported exclusively on May 31, that President Barack Obama
had proposed to President Vladimir Putin the creation of a large
force of 5,000 international monitors for Syria, most of them
Russians, to safeguard Assad’s stock of biological and chemical
weapons against falling into the hands of al Qaeda or Syrian rebels.
This team consisting of thousands of Russian troops would be the
operational arm of the future “contact group.”
As far as Israel is concerned, the plan has disastrous connotations.
Instead of containing the spread of hostile Iranian influence in the
region, as Obama promised Israel, he is opening for the door for Iran
to extend its nfluence squarely in the countries neighboring on – and
still at war with – Israel, while at the same time moving back from a
focused effort to draw the sting of Iran’s nuclear bomb program.
Israel’s political and security tacticians never took into account
that a consequence of the Syrian revolt would be the establishment of
full-blown Iranian sway over Damascus in partnership with Russia.
Indeed, for 15 months, they insisted that the Syrian uprising was
proof of America’s success in breaking up the dangerous Tehran-
Damascus-Hizballah axis. (Copyright 2000-2012 DEBKAfile. 06/06/12)
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