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How Iran sees Russian-Turkish deal on Syria

Although it was left out of Russia and Turkey’s announcement of a cease-fire agreement in Syria, Iran is very much involved on the stage as the Moscow-Ankara accord builds on a trilateral understanding with Tehran.

After the Dec. 29 announcement that Russia and Turkey had reached an agreement on a nationwide cease-fire in Syria, the United Nations Security Council on Dec. 31 unanimously approved a resolution welcoming the new effort to help resolve the Syrian crisis. Such unanimous international support, together with the overall effective implementation of the cease-fire by the concerned parties on the ground since Dec. 30, raises suggestions that this initiative is different from previous failed peace efforts.

As Moscow and Ankara were busy preparing the ground for the implementation of the cease-fire deal, one important question is that of Iran’s role in the process. After all, Iran and Russia have been strong supporters of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Moreover, before the announcement of the cease-fire deal, there were meetings in Moscow on Dec. 20 between the foreign and defense ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran that resulted in an eight-point statement on how to jointly solve the Syrian conflict. Thus, does the cease-fire deal between Moscow and Ankara mean that Iran is being ignored and that a new framework for conflict resolution in Syria has been established? The short answer is a resolute "no."

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