• Op-Ed
  • September 4, 2011
  • 17 minutes read

Op-Ed: The Dilemma of the Syrian Revolution, Questions to Iran

Op-Ed: The Dilemma of the Syrian Revolution, Questions to Iran

Some believe that the Iranian position regarding the developments in Syria is very confusing – and perhaps Iran itself could be divided from the inside as it has been witnessing lots of changes lately being turbulent and troubled with respect to the Syrian revolution.

On one hand, it is not easy to say that the Iranian position that is pro the Syrian regime is based on shared sectarian affiliation between Iran and the Syrian regime; it is a fact that the Shiite Jaafari Ithna-Ashri doctrine, which became more revolutionary and renewed after the 1979 Islamic revolution, does not intersect with the Alawide religious and sectarian doctrine which the ruling regime in Syria belongs to. Therefore, if Iran goes for adopting its position in support to the Syrian regime on the ground of sectarianism, it would definitely lose a lot, and remains truly mistaken as well.

On the other hand, it cannot be said that the Iranian position and the position of Hezbollah that are supportive of the Syrian regime (which is currently using all its military capabilities for the suppression of its own people instead of moving the troops towards the aim of liberating the Golan) is based on the grounds of seeing Bashar al-Asaad regime as a resistance icon or leader. The recent months have shown the collapse of all the claims of resistance and opposition to Israel when one of the most important pillars of the current Syrian regime, Rami Makhlouf, spoke the fact and said that this regime is "a guarantee to Israel’s security". 

Perhaps the recent events – and other events will be revealed later for sure – are enough to indicate the organic link between this regime in Damascus and the prolonged state of inaction and surrender on the Golan front. The Syrian regime keeps its front with Israel totally calm according to its interests and certain calculations, while claiming to support the resistance in Lebanon to acquire the "legitimacy of resistance". It is a regime that does not build its strategy on any principles or convictions out of faith and religious consideration. It claims resistance while it does not move a single tank or lose a single soldier, and of course it never liberated a single inch of the Syrian Arab occupied territory.

Therefore, when Iran and Hezbollah build their support for the Syrian regime on the grounds that this regime embraces resistance, they commit a big mistake, and they do that deliberately and on purpose, since they support a regime that actually stands in the trench of the interests of Israel and Israel’s security in an attempt to escape its fate and survive the uprising in the Syrian streets. It is a regime and a government that have all the elements of treason and deception, acting as sincere agents to Israel as they stand as a barrier between the Syrian youth in particular (who stand up and demonstrate strongly for their revolutionary cause) and the liberation of their country and their land, as a step towards the liberation of Palestine. The Syrian revolutionary youth are actually fighting the battle, which this Syrian regime deliberately failed to fight and tended towards inaction and cowardice while ruling the Syrian people with iron and fire for half a century so far.

The next questions are for Iran to answer:


Did Syria (defeated since 1967) ever request the support of the revolutionary Iran since 1979 for the liberation of the Golan Heights and the Liberation of Palestine over the last thirty years of the Islamic revolution in Iran?


Did the Syrian regime over the last thirty years adopt in any way any Islamic revolutionary ideology, or did it instead preserve the Baath Party doctrine?


Has the Syrian regime ever declared itself adopting the ideology of revolution and liberalization by the power of the people as Hezbollah did since the invasion of Lebanon till liberating this country?


Why didn’t the Syrian regime attempt at any stage liberating the Golan the way the South of Lebanon was liberated?


Has there ever been any difference in the ideological or doctrinal structure between the Syrian Baath (under the leadership of Hafez al-Asaad and then Bashar al-Asaad) and the Iraqi Baath under the leadership of Saddam Hussein, against whom the Islamic revolution in Iran fought for nearly a whole decade?


Has not Bashar al-Assad today turned into nothing but another copy of Saddam Hussein, as a model of repression and revolutionizing the country in the secular Baathist way that stands, in terms of intellectual, methodological and ideological reference, on the edge of the sharp contrast to the Iranian Islamic revolution?

Has Iran ever been able to export its model of the Islamic revolution to its ally Syria against the Baathist secular one during its coalition with Syria that lasted for more than three decades till now?


Has the Syrian regime ever been affected by the spirit, thought and perception of the Iranian revolution?


Has it actually and physically participated in the resistance on the ground with Hezbollah?


Was the Syrian Baath inspired in any way by the Islamic ideas of the Islamic revolution in Iran, or did it only continue with the intellectual stagnation that corresponds to the model of the Iraqi Baath plus maneuvering under the slogans of defiance and resistance without actually contributing financially or militarily to this resistance?


Of course, a researcher here would reach the utmost astonishment, surprise and shock when finding a living revolutionary model moving on the lands of Syria (through the young rebels who were able to provide all the sacrifices necessary against al-Asaad regime that is not different in any way from that of Saddam Hussein, who hit his own people with poison gas and used all its might and power in the midst of his attempt to kill the Islamic revolution of the Iranian people in its infancy) while the revolutionary Iran and the Hezbollah resistant standing in the wrong place regarding this new revolution in Syria, and perceiving the Syrian revolution as something in contrast to them.


So, it is truly surprising and shocking. Are the slogans launched by the Syrian regime or its claims of a conspiracy against Syria as its media says day and night still capable of fooling the policy-makers and decision makers in Iran and the leaders and intellectuals of Hezbollah? Are not the young rebels in Syria today the same rebellious youth of Iran against the Shah three decades ago, and the equivalents to Egypt’s youth who revolted against Mubarak some months ago? Why, then, does the political and intellectual lens of the decision-makers in Iran and some of the leaders of Hezbollah perceive the value of the revolutionary youth in Egypt and fail to understand the revolutionary youth in Syria? Why cannot those decision-makers be able to make a simple comparison to see the similarities in these revolutions? Why cannot they see the link between the Iranian people’s revolution and that of the Palestinian people in their Intifada which took place only few years away from today?


The young Syrian rebels today have no less desire or ability to liberation and change than the young Hezbollah youth in Lebanon, nor any other young people in any Arab or Muslim country. In fact, the Syrian revolution, which proved with its struggle against iron and fire at the hands of the ruling Syrian regime (and not the Zionist enemy) that it is capable of winning the battle for freedom and liberation, is inspiring every other revolution present or will take place in the future in the Arab and Muslim worlds. The inspiration is because it is based on faith, pride and dignity and the call for change and liberation. It is a revolution that is not different from the revolution in Algeria in the mid-twentieth century, in Iran three decades ago, or in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya this year.

Could not Iran and Hezbollah now return to use the measure of belief and faith to weigh things, and use the standards of a real revolution and a real desire for an actual liberation of Jerusalem so as to see that the liberation of the people on the Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian, Jordanian and Egyptian fronts would be the only way to liberate the Holy Land and Al-Aqsa Mosque that is now still captured?

Definitely, Iran and Hezbollah can understand that supporting these revolutions and building relationships with people – and not with the regimes – is the best way. Otherwise, Iran and Hezbollah would become, intentionally or unintentionally, supporting another Baathist repressive conspirator regime against the resistance; a regime led by another Saddam Hussein, yet having a new name today; Bashar al-Assad.


*Khaled Hamza is the Chief Editor of Ikhwanweb