Nov. 23, 2021

How Iran views Arab normalization with Syria

Iran/Diplomacy

Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (AbZ) on Nov. 9 paid an unannounced visit to Syria to meet with President Bashar Al-Assad. The trip was interpreted as another sign that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and many in the Arab world are determined to normalize relations with the Syrian government, as well as proof of Abu Dhabi’s particular interest in normalization with Damascus. That said, AbZ’s visit was the latest—albeit perhaps the most significant—of a series of contacts that have recently taken place between Syria and other Arab states. Alongside the UAE, Jordan and Egypt have also recently taken steps to mend ties with the Assad government.

Abu Dhabi first signaled its interest in restoring ties with Damascus in 2018 after reopening its embassy. Since then, some have argued that a core objective of emerging Arab normalization efforts with Assad has been to curb Iran’s growing influence in Syria. With this, the Emirati foreign minister’s visit to Syria has once again sparked speculations on the future of Tehran-Damascus relations. While some Emirati experts stress that UAE-Syria normalization will have immediate impacts on Iran’s role in Syria, some Iranian observers also highlight that Iran’s interests might become compromised...

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Hamidreza Azizi
Hamidreza Azizi
Hamidreza Azizi, PhD, is an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the German Institute for International and ... Full Bio
فارسیPersian
فارسیPersian
عربيArabic
عربيArabic