Iran has played a pivotal role in helping Bashar al-Assad’s regime regain the upper hand in Syria’s civil war. At first glance, the alliance between a revolutionary Shia theocracy and a staunch champion of secular Arab nationalism seems baffling. Some analysts have emphasized the common strategic interests the two countries share. For Iranian-American foreign policy analyst Karim Sadjadpour, however, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s decision to back Syria’s brutal dictator stems from a much more elemental place: his deep-seated hatred of the state of Israel. getAbstract recommends this article to readers with an interest in Middle East politics.
About the Author
Karim Sadjadpour is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.