In my idea Geneva II can be only a step to reach political aims in Syria; therefore, to think that in Geneva II all the issues of Syria are solvable are quite absurd and certainly more meetings and discussions are necessary.
Mohammad Irani, Iranian expert on international affairs in an interview with Siasatema website expressed his views on the recent changes in Syria and Geneva II conference.
Q: A conference is due to be held in Geneva on the issues of Syria. If the upcoming conference fails to settle the crisis and the Syrian regime, as is demanded by the west, changes, then will the opposition forces and National Coalition of Syria, who spare no effort in committing crimes, be able to form a new government?
A: The features needed for formation of a government in a country are not found in Syrian National Coalition. The first step is that the opposition forces form a solid body, supported by the people besides a proper regional and international situation, which (at the moment) does not let forming a new government.
Therefore, the atmosphere does not seem to be in favor of a regime change in Syria. Also, regarding the point that Syrian government and the army has made achievements during the past days, the situation of resistance seem to be worse than previous days; consequently, it is better to stabilize the present balance. This is what particularly the Russian side is pursuing in Geneva conference; protecting the present situation rather than formation of a new government.
If under any circumstances, a new movement and a new regime are formed in Syria which does not include all groups and lacks enough stability then naturally the first trouble will be for Syria itself and its neighboring countries.
Q: Since the Syrian army and the people are busy confronting with the opposition forces, to what extent is a regime change likely to happen in the country?
A: Changes in Syria have to be analyzed from two different aspects, first at home and then in the international arena because the present situation in Syria is so complicated that nearly all regional and international countries are intervening in the country, some making local interventions sending weaponry and financial aids meanwhile some others are providing political support for the opposition forces. On the other hand, the other front including powerful countries like Russia, China and Islamic Republic of Iran, that have certain roles in the region, back Bashar al Assad; therefore, to think that the changes turn into unilateral one is far from reality.
In my view the turmoil in Syria will continue though this does not mean that domestic changes do not have any impact on the regime. Undoubtedly, recent victories of the army have improved the stability of Assad government both at home and in the international arena and they have led to the country being invited to attend Geneva II conference.
These are not unimportant changes though the situation has changed and Syrian people now believe that all groups and movements have to be part of a new transition government for better management and return of peace and security to the country.
Q: To what extent are you hopeful of Geneva II conference?
A: In my idea Geneva II can be only a step to reach political aims in Syria; therefore, to think that in Geneva II all the issues of Syria are solvable are quite absurd and certainly more meetings and discussions are necessary.
Due to multiple aspects of the crisis in Syria, recent problems and also the role of international sides, more than one meeting is needed to settle the situation and Geneva II conference is counted only a step however the situation of Russia in this meeting, in comparison with Geneva I, has improved and its presence is accepted by different western sides.
Naturally the role of Syria has also improved. The disagreement among the opposition forces has increased; hence, we take Geneva II as a positive step for settlement of the crisis in this country. It seems that other conferences, similar to Geneva III, IV or other international conferences will also be effective.
Q: What are the advantages of Syrian government and Bashar al Assad in Geneva II conference?
A: The first point is that the demand of opposite governments including the US, part of the European Union (EU), particularly France and the UK, beside the Arab front including Qatar and Saudi Arabia and also Turkey, who shouted extremist mottos for topple of Bashar al Assad, has not realized.
When in a meeting like Geneva II conference, the presence of a country that they hoped would have had toppled by now is stressed, then it is counted an achievement for the Syrian government and due to this fact Syria has the upper hand in Geneva II meeting.
What seems to be natural is that a new structure, comprising all groups, led by one person will be proposed and it seems that an agreement for a referendum, an election and also formation of a pervasive government, including a transition government, are among the best proposals that can be set on top of the agenda by all those who look at Syria situation with a positive view.