Foreign minister of Russia and Iran to meet amid diverging interests in Syria

Foreign minister of Russia and Iran to meet amid diverging interests in Syria

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow today for talks on Syria.

lavrov zarif syria tensions

Photo: AP/Ebrahim Noroozi

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow today for talks on Syria.

The two are likely to debate the details of a post-Syrian war plan—to be presented at the upcoming Astana talks next month—and a plan to reduce military clashes within the region.

Moscow and Tehran hold increasingly divergent views on what a post-war Syria might look like. In April, at least a dozen fatalities were reported as a result of firefights between Russian forces and pro-Iranian militias in the northeastern city of Aleppo. The two powers have been jostling to wield influence over the government of President Bashar al-Assad in a bid to control the future of Syria and its policies.

Given that today is a culmination of multiple meetings between the Iranian and Russian foreign ministers, the talks should be constructive on reducing military clashes within Syria. However, should Zarif and Lavrov fail to secure a longer-term agreement on their policies toward Syria moving forward, we could see a further split in this coalition. Such an outcome would further destabilize the region and push back any significant solution to the conflict.

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