Russia and Turkey announced on Tuesday that Iran had officially joined the Syrian-Turkish talks. This came after a noticeable lull in official discussions following the announcement of a postponement for a meeting of foreign ministers, which was originally scheduled for mid-January.
The former Syrian ambassador to Ankara, Nidal Qabalan, confirmed during a Tuesday television interview with Al-Mayadeen channel that the announcement of Iran’s participation as a mediator alongside Russia in the Syrian-Turkish talks was the most significant development in the past 24 hours. He emphasized that Iran’s involvement in this mediation is a Syrian desire and nearly a Syrian requirement.
Qabalan highlighted that Iran’s involvement would reduce the potential for Turkey’s delays, evasions, and lack of commitment. He added that past experiences have shown that Turkey has not fulfilled its obligations to Damascus and Moscow regarding the withdrawal of Turkish military from Syrian territory and terrorist groups from Idleb and elsewhere.
The former Syrian ambassador to Ankara emphasized that Syria feels more secure with Iran’s involvement in the Syrian-Turkish reconciliation efforts. He noted that the Syrian-Russian alliance differs from the Syrian-Iranian alliance, explaining that “the alliance between Syria and Iran is an organic bond in destiny, goal, and strategy. If Iran, along with Russia, becomes a guarantor of any future agreements with Turkey, this gives Syria a sense of security.”
He emphasized that Iran’s presence can exert pressure on Turkey to ensure it fulfills its obligations. He stated that “without Iran’s involvement, there can be no credible mediation leading to a summit. This is not just based on information, but is also a conviction and opinion.” Qabalan pointed out that Iran holds a unique weight as a mediator due to the historical relationships between Tehran and Ankara, particularly in regard to Iran’s gas supply to the Turkish industry.
It is worth mentioning that Iran initiated the Syrian-Turkish reconciliation efforts during a visit by its Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, to both Damascus and Ankara in July 2022. After his visit to Ankara, Abdollahian stated that it was necessary to consult with the Syrian authorities.
On the other hand, Al-Watan newspaper said that intensive political meetings are taking place in the Russian capital, Moscow, to push forward efforts for Syrian-Turkish rapprochement.
The anonymous sources indicated that Moscow and Tehran are hastening the reconciliation after obtaining information about potential American plans to overthrow the current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and support his opponents’ rise to power. This news drives Moscow and Tehran to prioritize the reconciliation and prompts Damascus and Ankara to take concrete steps to advance their rapprochement, which could boost Erdogan’s chances in elections and help him gain the necessary points to win.
According to the sources, Washington may take during the next stage escalatory steps towards the Turkish economy that may affect the government’s ability to control the Turkish lira. This will lead to a rapid economic deterioration that directly and catastrophically affects Erdogan’s popularity in order to support opposition parties.
The sources indicated that Iran’s presence in the series of ongoing meetings is expected, particularly since recent Turkish and Russian statements have revealed their satisfaction with Iran joining the mediation efforts. This was confirmed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, on Tuesday, where he stated that an agreement was reached for Iran’s participation in the process.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.