Umm Muhammed Umar
With Russia entangled in Ukraine, Syria may be up for grabs, with both Iran and the United Arab Emirates prime contenders. Syrian President, Bashar Al Assad, recently visited both Tehran and Abu Dhabi. The Middle East Report saw James Dorsey talking to Radio Islam.
Dorsey said that Russia, preoccupied with Ukraine, has moved troops from Syria to Ukraine. He added, “Supposedly it has also moved some of its mercenaries from Russia to Ukraine, and someone has to fill that void.” He explained, “Clearly the Syrians are looking to Iran to do that. And the Iranians obviously would want to have a role in the post-war reconstruction of Syria, which is big business.” Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates has been serving as a platform for Bashar Al Assad to return to the Arab fold. The Arab League had suspended Syrian membership at the beginning of the Syrian civil war, almost a decade ago, and that return to the fold is both politically and economically important to Bashar al Asad.
Separately, the International Atomic Energy Agency has expressed concern about undeclared uranium enrichment. Dorsey said, “what’s at stake at the moment, is the future, if there is a future, for the international agreement that was completed in 2015, to curb the Iranian nuclear program.” he added that the United States, under Donald Trumps administration, had walked away from that agreement in 2018. The United States, Europe, Russia and China have been negotiating since the Biden administration, to try and revive that agreement. According to Dorsey, the situation was now at a ‘make or break’ stage. The Secretary General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, alleged that there were undisclosed sites in Iran, where uranium was being enriched. This opens speculation about how long would it take Iran to produce a nuclear weapon. Critics say the ‘breakout time’ is a matter of weeks. Simultaneously, a very senior military European union official has visited Tehran to try and break the deadlock in the nuclear negotiations. Dorsey said, “And that deadlock centres at the moment on a demand that the United States take the Revolutionary Guards off its terrorism list – something that both the Israelis and the Gulf states oppose.”
Meanwhile, an Emirati company is looking to hire an anti-Muslim Brotherhood and anti-Tunisian freelance writer. Dorsey sad that the United Arab Emirates has for quite some time embarked, at quite some cost to itself, as well as to others, on a campaign against political Islam. He said that it has interfered in various countries: Egypt in 2013, with the military coup, and the support for the military, to the war in Libya, but also elsewhere, including support of far right, somewhat Islamophobic tendencies in Europe. Dorsey said, “It has also done the same in Tunisia, where you have the president having unilaterally grabbed power.” He added, “In that context, the UAE has put out an advertisement for a freelance writer in Tunisia…….to write against the leader of the EnNahda party, which has become a sort of Muslim Democratic Party, which many still associate with the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as other opposition figures.”