US President Donald Trump’s March 21 decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights has sparked widespread international reaction. While European countries announced that they would not follow suit, Russia expressed concern over the “negative repercussions” of the move. Turkey adopted a more active stance, calling for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Trump’s announcement was also met with negative reactions from Arab allies of the United States.
Iran’s adoption of a low-profile position on Trump’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights appears to be a calculated move to maximize its regional interests. However, despite being the Syrian government’s main ally, Iran’s initial reaction to the American move has been rather mild — and in fact not much different from the positions of other nations. While “strongly condemning” Trump’s decision, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi said March 22, “According to the resolutions of the United Nations and the Security Council, the Golan Heights is an occupied part of the Syrian territories and no solution for this [issue] is conceivable except for ending the occupation.”