The Washington Post has an important story about how the Iranian regime is preparing for post-Assad Syria. The paper reports that American and Middle Eastern governments believe that Tehran is backing a 50,000 strong militia in the hope of keeping Assad in power and, if that’s not possible, defending its interests in the aftermath of his downfall.
Iran’s ultimate aim, the paper suggests, is the establishment of a client state on the coast. This would enable it to continue funneling weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon allowing it to maintain its influence in Lebanese politics and to carry on supporting terrorist attacks against Israel.
If the Assad regime does fall, it seems likely that Syria will become the new Lebanon: a country where proxy wars play out between various regional players.
PS Also worth reading this piece on Iran’s plunging fertility rate, strikingly Tehran and another of Iran’s largest cities have lower fertility rates than any US state