Professor Bowker, who was Australia’s ambassador to Cairo – which included responsibility for Syria – and is now with the Australian National University, said that with Russian support, Mr Assad could hold onto the Mediterranean coastal region – the heartland of his Alawite sect – even if he had to abandon the capital Damascus.
To what extent would Assad, who is seen as war criminal in the West, agree to such direct talks? Sometimes it’s being told that the bad attacks that took place in this city on 9/11 was somehow a Jewish conspiracy. Under the deal, the Security Council is expected to lift sanctions against Iran in return for Iran meeting strict conditions regarding its nuclear program.
The future of Assad has always been the major sticking point in resolving the Syrian conflict, which has become a multi-sided proxy war pitting the United States and its partners against the Assad government and its principal backers, Russian Federation and Iran. Because as long as Assad is there, you simply can’t make peace.
A sudden surge of population puts too much strain on the social and physical infrastructure of receiving countries.
The Iranian President said that Iran has no problem with discussing what comes after ending the threat of terrorism in Syria, but he also stressed that the Syrian must be involved in drafting a plan of action in this regard. Since then, this support has only grown, and by a few accounts Iran has fundamentally reorganized Assad’s forces under its own leadership.
Adel Al-Jubeir told a small group of journalists the military option could be lengthier and more destructive, but the choice is entirely up to Assad and whether he accepts the political roadmap agreed to by key nations in 2012.
The move provoked a mocking response for one of the quartet of Syria-based militants, with a post on a Twitter account thought to belong to Sally-Anne Jones referring to “laughing out loud”. More needs to be done to build opposition to Assad and help create a credible alternative government, he said.
Rouhani commended diplomatic efforts, which resulted in the nuclear agreement with the P51 group. As long as Assad feels safe and has no reason to relinquish power, he will not change anything.
However, doubts about Iran’s willingness to open up further to the West grew this month when Iran’s supreme leader used particularly scathing language to condemn any warming of ties with the United States.
“The regime continuing and Assad staying is a failure”, said Ahmad Qura Ali, a spokesman for the powerful Islamist Ahrar al-Sham rebel group.
Rouhani is one of Iran’s ultimate insiders – a gray-bearded, white-turbaned Shiite cleric in his mid-60s.
Mr Cameron said Russian Federation and other powers had to be persuaded that it was “in everyone’s interests” to co-operate in the fight against IS.
But he insisted Tehran would not work with any government that sought a change in Syria’s regime.
“The boy who straps a bomb to himself and blows up an Iraqi town, the guy that stands in the desert with a knife having just beheaded a British hostage – they don’t get there from a standing start,” he said.
Analysts also note that Russia’s intervention in Syria is more “symbolic” than decisive.
Efforts to engage Tehran – a close ally of Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria – in a push to end the protracted civil war have been spurred on by a thaw in relations with the West.