Top Iranian, Syria officials attend conference on Russia’s expanding role in the Middle East

Top Iranian, Syria officials attend conference on Russia’s expanding role in the Middle East

Along with a top Syrian presidential advisor, the foreign ministers of Russia and Iran will headline a conference on Russia’s

Russia Middle East

Photo: Russian Defence Ministry

Along with a top Syrian presidential advisor, the foreign ministers of Russia and Iran will headline a conference on Russia’s role in the Middle East today.

Russia has rejected numerous UN proposals on Syria but has made unilateral progress. Today’s meetings stand as a step beyond last month’s Sochi conference, during which Russia sought to negotiate de-escalation in Syria. Russia, partnered with Iran, holds the upper hand in Syria, especially with President Bashar al-Assad’s recent victories.

With the wide scope of today’s conference, Russia is in position to capitalise on its success in Syria and to address a plethora of Middle Eastern issues, including ongoing conflicts in Yemen and Libya. With Iran’s help, Russia could seek to bring peace in many longstanding conflicts.

Expect Russia to assert its commitment to aiding distressed Arabs, using Syria an example of past success. Russia is poised to be a dominant geopolitical power in the Middle East’s future, as alliances with other Arab states could yield Russian economic and political strength in the region. If Russia can fix issues that the UN has not, Moscow stands to gain with Russia emerging as a dominant force.

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