A top Iranian leader says the “liberation” of the Syrian city of Aleppo by Iran-run forces has further established the Islamic Republic’s power in the region. “It is not possible to topple a legitimate government through force and pressure. The logic of the Islamic Republic in the region was substantiated and our enemies were dealt a significant defeat,” Major General Mohsen Rezaei, the head of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council, said at a press conference on December 21. “From the very outset, we announced that the legitimate government of Syria must be recognized, and that all forms of interference were condemned to defeat,” he added.
Rezaei’s views on Iran’s policies in Syria and Iraq carry a lot of weight, as he has played an influential role in Iran’s domestic and foreign policies since the early days of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. He served as the chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) from 1981 to 1997, and unsuccessfully run for president in 2009 and 2013.
But while Iranian leaders are celebrating an ultimate victory in Syria after the bloody fall of Aleppo, the Syrian war is far from over and Iran’s currently dominant role in Syria, which is achieved through brutal force and massive destruction and bloodshed – remains fragile.