He spoke of only two possible outcomes for a settlement in Syria, saying a transitional council reached through a political process would be the “preferred option”.
Such groups have failed the soft war for representation and legitimacy, opening the way for Assad to perpetuate an image of an irreplaceable Western-educated political representative of Syrians.
We have seen signs and hints recently of worldwide and regional agreement and consensus regarding what is known as the transitional phase in Syria, as the events in the country evolved in an unexpected manner.
Abdullah said Mr Assad’s only future role should be as a defendant in the worldwide Criminal Court. But Obama’s critics have aggressively criticized him for appeasing the Iranian government in other areas and for even backing down on his stated red lines for the Syrian government, all in the interest of securing a nuclear deal and maintaining a policy of rapprochement with Iran.
It must be noted, however, that Rouhani does not share the same executive authority as his counterparts at the General Assembly debate, as any of his decisions can be overruled by Iran’s dictator, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
United States Secretary of State John Kerry suggested on Tuesday that Russian Federation and Iran may persuade Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad to stop indiscriminately dropping barrel bombs on his own people.
While cloaked in diplomatic-speak, Kerry’s comments are a long way from the definitive denunciations that he made during the last, failed Syria peace negotiations, in early 2014 in Switzerland.
The question now is whether the president can nudge his whole country to go along with him. In the meantime, Assad’s initial discourse that reduced the Syrian revolution to terrorism started to literally take form, and IS expanded without exhausting its fighters over two fronts in Syria. He is only able to hold his territory – the centre of Damascus and the coastal region – with the massive support of Iran, Hezbollah and Russian Federation.
For European Union diplomats, Putin’s Syria gambit is more about rebuilding Russia’s reputation in the long term than about a quick fix on sanctions, however.
On the outcomes of his visit to New York, Rouhani underlined that all the world takes JCPOA for granted as a finalized agreement which would bear great economic impacts.
But the U.S. has expressed deep concern over Russia’s maneuvering in Syria and insists Obama will not let Putin off the hook over Ukraine after he shattered ties with the West by seizing the Crimea peninsula and allegedly fueling a separatist conflict. He says he is prepared to open the discussion with the USA, Russian Federation and other concerned powers as to what that formula might be.
An article published in the Jerusalem Post on Monday makes much the same point about Iran’s untrustworthiness, although it does so with reference to the Islamic Republic’s rhetoric not just toward the West but toward Israel and the Jewish people.
“The United States welcomes any genuine efforts to fight [Daesh] and al-Qaeda-affiliated groups, especially al Nusra”, Kerry said. That’s why they need Assad.
Analysts also note that Russia’s intervention in Syria is more “symbolic” than decisive.
With Moscow sending troops and military hardware into the disintegrating nation, Washington and its allies had little choice but to accept the reality that the Kremlin had the power to keep dictator Bashar al-Assad in place as its ally.