Iran and West’s nuclear deal will have long-lasting implications on the economics and geopolitics of the Middle East and North Africa region, and one of the outcomes would be that Syrian civil war will last longer than expected, says a senior analyst.
“Relief of some sanctions over Iran will allow it to increase its support for President Bashar Al Assad and Hezbollah. Therefore, the civil war in Syria is unlikely to end any time in the coming one or two years,” says Firas Abi Ali, Head of Middle East Analysis at IHS Country Risk.
“Israel and Saudi Arabia are far more likely to coordinate intelligence work over Syria in order to prevent a victory by President Assad, that would in turn allow Iran to consolidate its hold over Syria and Lebanon.
“Israel is the other major loser from any western rapprochement with Iran that doesn’t first secure what Israel regards as proportionate concessions over Iran’s uranium enrichment capacity.
Israel will likely escalate its attacks on suspected shipments of weapons to Hezbollah. Further explosions and attacks targeting munitions storage depots in southern Lebanon are also likely. Hezbollah will probably show restraint in either case, but will be far more likely to retaliate if one or more of its senior leaders is assassinated.
“Diplomatically, Israel will use the six months delay before for further talks with Iran to lobby in the US and prepare contingency plans to disrupt the implementation of a ‘bad’ final deal,” Ali told TRENDS in a statement.
On US sanctions against Iran, Ali says: “For its part, the US Congress is unlikely to remove sanctions it has imposed against Iran, and will probably be opposed to a deal that Israel does not support.”
Saudi Arabia could increase arms shipments, he adds. “Saudi Arabia will likely respond to the Iran-P5+1 deal by significantly stepping up arms shipments of anti-tank and potentially anti-aircraft weapons to the Syrian opposition through Jordan.”