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Iran’s growing power could be explosive

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, David Adesnik
3rd December 2017 - Quoted by Ed Blanche - The Arab Weekly

Iran is poised to consolidate its growing power in the Middle East as it tries to com­plete a strategic land bridge from the Arabian Gulf to the Mediterranean despite advances in Syria by the United States and its allies.

Having cleared the last obsta­cles for the Shia-controlled corri­dor on the Iraq-Syria border, the Islamic Republic, unlike its ally Russia, plans to remain in Syria permanently and is building military bases in southern Syria, moves that Israel sees as a strate­gic threat.

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Daveed Gartenstein-Ross of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a pro-Israel Wash­ington think-tank that has been highly critical of the US failure to produce a military-economic strategy to prevent Syria falling apart, said the absence of a US blueprint helped Iran accumulate power.

“Iran has basically created its own foreign legion,” he observed. “You’ve had a variety of Shia militias from other countries… come to the Syria-Iraq theatres. …That’s something that gives it the power to project power sig­nificantly.”

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“Unless the US commits to pre­venting the march of these forc­es, Iran will be the ultimate victor in the Syrian conflict, thereby ex­panding its influence across the Middle East and setting the stage for future conflict — with both Sunni states and with Israel,” ob­served David Adesnik, director of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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