Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Jerusalem summit: Scenarios to end Iran's presence in Syria

Tuesday 11/June/2019 - 01:59 PM
The Reference
Ali Ragab

Jerusalem is preparing to host a security meeting of American, Russian and Israeli leaders to discuss the Iranian influence in Syria and how to end its presence in the region. This comes amid expectations of a tripartite plan with the convergence of the interests of Washington, Moscow and Tel Aviv.

The summit, to be held in Jerusalem at the end of June, will be attended by US National Security Advisor John Bolton, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, who will discuss regional issues on a comprehensive scale.


Tripartite deal

The senior military analyst in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Alex Fishman, revealed a tripartite Russian-US-Israeli deal on Syria, saying, "The US-Russian-Israeli security conference to be held this month will establish a tripartite deal that would reduce Washington’s sanctions against Russia in return for ending the Iranian presence, as well as recognition by Washington and Tel Aviv of the legitimacy of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad."

A report by the Russian newspaper Svobodnaya Pressa said Moscow needed Iran's withdrawal from Syria because it would prevent provocations by Israeli planes there. It would be possible to start talking about Damascus becoming safe. With the departure of the Iranians, the possibility of a decline in American military power in Syria will increase significantly, especially since Tehran is the main threat to Israel for Washington.


Deal scenarios

There are many scenarios for the summit. It seems that the summit will produce a tripartite deal that would achieve Russia's interests in Syria by ending its troublesome ally, Iran, which has escalated tensions in recent weeks with the ambition of competing with Russia in strategic and economic interests in Syria, as well as Tehran forming a threat to Moscow’s interests and influence in Damascus. The Russian-US-Israeli deal is a great win for Moscow to rid itself of a troublesome ally in return for gains in Syria, as well as strategic gains by easing US sanctions on Moscow, giving Russian President Vladimir Putin the ability to maneuver and support Russia's economy and boost its influence in the Middle East.

Many analysts point out that the summit will be satisfactory to all. It is only an end to the influence of Washington and Tel Aviv's political adversary in Syria, as well as the curtailment of a more troubling ally of Russia, which means that everyone agrees to end the influence. However, the deal on how to terminate Iran’s influence remains a riddle. It may retain the role of the Kurds and American support for them in exchange for recognizing Assad's legitimacy and ending the influence of Iran and Hezbollah.


Failed deal

Another scenario is that the deal fails, although this is an unlikely scenario in light of the current situation in Iran and the American and Russian desire to end Iran's influence in Syria.


Gray scenario

This scenario depends on the strength of the factors of the deal and the temptations of the American-Israeli side with Russia in this regard. If there is no full agreement, there will at least be an agreement to end Iran’s military presence and depart the Iranian militias from Syria, foremost of which is Hezbollah, which is of much importance for Israel.

The number of Shiite militia factions in Syria is estimated at more than 60, according to Syrian opposition figures, with an estimated 60,000 fighters.