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A report warns of Iranian expansion in Syria if a nuclear agreement is reached

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy has warned of “Iranian expansion” in the region, especially in Syria, in the event that Washington concludes a nuclear agreement with Tehran without multiple parallel efforts.

The institute said in a report that the possibility of reaching a new nuclear agreement and the subsequent lifting of sanctions and the release of frozen Iranian funds may provide Hezbollah and the Iranian-backed militias in Syria and Iraq with a large financial payment.

The report added that this increased Iranian activity in Syria should be a “source of concern” for US policymakers in particular, given Syria’s position as a crucial card for the success of regional Iranian activity.

It stressed that the increasing Iranian influence will negatively affect Syria, as the Iranian militias will enjoy more power and more freedom to display their strength.

In light of these expected risks, and at a time when the United States seeks to move forward to conclude a new nuclear agreement with Iran, the report called on Washington to search for “new mechanisms” to be added to the sanctions and Israeli strikes.

The report believed that “the US administration must reconsider directing the support it provides to Syria, and directing it from (militias) to the Syrian (national forces) with all its components including Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Christians and other groups that are marginalized and removed from the (decision center).”

This should also happen, according to the report, in parallel with Washington’s encouragement for its regional allies in the Gulf and Turkey to end their “intra-regional differences” by taking advantage of the recent rapprochement between them, which allows for coordination and strengthening of efforts to counter Iranian influence, with a special focus on Syria, which is a “common interest.” For everyone, according to the report.

The report pointed out that those efforts will become more effective if international resolutions on the Syrian issue are implemented, most notably United Nations Resolution No. (2254).

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