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Does Iran even want Russia in Syria?

Despite the stepped-up Russian role in Syria, it is still not clear whether Iran views this development in a wholly positive light.

TEHRAN, Iran — The already complex situations in Iraq and Syria have become more complicated following the announcement that an intelligence sharing command base has been formed by Iran, Russia, Syria and Iraq. The base, which is slated to be set up in Baghdad, is geared to enhance collaboration in the fight against the Islamic State (IS).

News of the initiative was originally reported by the Russian news agency Sputnik. It quoted a Russian diplomatic source as saying, “This shared intelligence base will be formed by the representatives of the chiefs of joint military staff of each of these four countries. … The first goal of the base is to gather intelligence regarding the region in the framework of fighting against this terrorist group. After the data is collected, it will be analyzed and will eventually be forwarded to the related organizations in the armed forces of each of these countries.” The Russian source added that “the command of this base will rotate every three months between the member states and the first rotating president will be Iraq.” Russia's official representative to the base, Sergei Kuralenko, further stated that “all four countries will have equal responsibilities in coordinating the fight against [IS]. The responsibilities of each side will be determined by a special charter, which will be soon adopted.”

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