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Re: [alpha] INSIGHT - IRAN/US/SYRIA - Iran reaching out to US on post-Assad set-up? - ME1 and ME1386

Released on 2012-03-06 08:00 GMT

Email-ID 102355
Date 2011-12-13 17:09:09
What does the source think about the possibility of a palace coup that
isn't accepted by the SNC, FSA, people in the street or some combination
thereof? Also does source know what the Iranians think about such a
scenario (assuming they have considered it)


From: "Reva Bhalla"
To: "Alpha List"
Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 6:07:16 PM
Subject: Re: [alpha] INSIGHT - IRAN/US/SYRIA - Iran reaching out to US on
post-Assad set-up? - ME1 and ME1386

my bad, that should read HZ politburo


From: "Michael Wilson"
To: "Alpha List"
Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 10:00:59 AM
Subject: Re: [alpha] INSIGHT - IRAN/US/SYRIA - Iran reaching out to US on
post-Assad set-up? - ME1 and ME1386

You say HZ source but notes say member of Hamas politburo

On 12/13/11 9:29 AM, Marc Lanthemann wrote:

Reva's note - this is extremely interesting, especially the bolded part
below. DOes Iran really think it can convince the US to collaborate with
them on regime change in SYria in such a way that will end up in Iran's
favor? the whole point of the US focusing in on Syria is to contain Iran
in the first place. This sounds like the Iranians are getting to be in
an increasingly desperate position. Always be wary of source bias, but
why would a HZ source want to spread info on the weakness of the Syrian
regime and the lack of options for Iran? I do believe the part about
Iran preferring a palace coup over the Turkish strategy of building up
an opposition via FSA.

SOURCE: ME1 and ME1386
SOURCE DESCRIPTION: ME1 and member of Hamas politburo
PUBLICATION: Yes - worth a tactical analysis

Marhaba Reva,
I strongly believe that Asad's regime will fall in 2012. The
conventional wisdom that Asad will survive, because both Iran and Israel
view him with favor, is a thing of the past. The situation in Syria has
reached the point of no return. It is true than nine months of
demonstrations have not brought down the regime but, by the same token,
regime brutality and heavy handedness have not quelled the uprising. If
anything, the level of hostilities and army defections is on the rise.

The breaking point will come when the military establishment realizes
that Asad must go. There are signs that the military establishment is
beginning to disintegrate. I talked to [ME1386] and he told me that
Alawite officers and enlisted men are beginning to join the ranks of the
FSA. This represents a major development. Alawite officers are divided
since many of them are unhappy about the use of excessive force against
Sunni protesters. Alawite officers are aware that Asad is trying to
find an asylum for himself and his family should his regime become
unslavageable. This is upsetting many Alawites who are coming to realize
that Asad will abandon them. If so, they reason that it would be
suicidal to continue to win the wrath of the Sunnis. Walid al-Muallim
offered to resign but Asad turned down his request. This is a clear
indicator that many of Asad's men are realizing that they are putting a
vain fight against the burgeoning uprising.

The Iranians are weighing in the situation in Syria very carefully. One
must read beyond the public statements of the Iranians, especially
ayatollah Khamenei. Both Khamenei and Ahmadinejad have concluded that
Asad's regime cannot be rescued. It is perfectly understood that the
regime in Damascus will fall along lines similar to the Libyan model.
There will have to be a coup in Damascus, be it a military or political

One must not dismiss the pragmatism of Khamenei. Iran appears to be
willing to use its influence in Syria to stage a coup, provided that it
is able to ensure that the new leadership will continue to pursue
excellent relations with Tehran. The Iranians have approached the
Americans on this. In the past, Iran collaborated with the U.S. on the
ouster of Saddam Hussein and Iran won big in Iraq. The Iranians would
not mind working again on ousting Asad if they can secure good results
in Syria. Syria's contiguity to Iraq allows Iran to play a direct role
in the affairs of Damascus.

The Iranians feel they need to act on Syria soon because the Turks have
their own plans for Syria and are not coordinating with the Iranians. He
says the Turks are moving slowly but systematically. Iran does not want
to allow Turkey to take over Syria. Whereas the Turks are coordinating
with the Brotherhood and the FSA, the Iranians prefer a palace coup in
damascus in order to maintain their ties with Asad's successors. What is
delaying action in Syria is the fact that the U.S. has not yet decided
on the shape of the post-Asad political system. Nevertheless, he insists
that Asad's regime will fall, although the future of Syria after the
regime change remains nebulous.

Michael Wilson
Director of Watch Officer Group
221 W. 6th Street, Suite 400
Austin, TX 78701
T: +1 512 744 4300 ex 4112

Nick Grinstead
Regional Monitor
Beirut, Lebanon