In advance of Iraq’s publication of its evidence showing "neighboring countries" support for the insurgents, heads of Iranian and Syrian governments gathered in Tehran to discuss the possibility of forming a unified position on Ira, but each has a different meaning for regional security, Glasgow University's Reza Taqizadeh tells Radio Farda’s London correspondent Shahran Tabari. “Regional security issues will be on the agenda of Iran-Syria talks in Tehran, but regional security has a different meaning for each,” Glasgow University international relations professor Reza Taqizadeh tells Radio Farda’s London correspondent Shahran Tabari. Their common interest is Iraq, and they support replacing the future UN Western peacekeeping forces there with forces from Islamic countries,” he adds.
Iran and Syria can draft mutual defense pacts, but in this area, peace is kept only through regional defense pacts, of which Syria may or may not be an active and effective partner, he says. Iran under the Islamic government has not joined any regional defense pact in which Arabs were present. The Islamic government has several times expressed interest to participate in Arabs' naval maneuvers with “observer” status, but was rejected, as Iran’s proposed participation as an observer in the meetings of the Arab League.
Syria seeks a greater role in the region and may be looking to Iran as a partner, and the two countries, along with Libya, have a history of military cooperation, he adds.
"Another issue common to Iran and Syria is that they are both on the US list of states sponsoring terrorism, and may worry about possible hardening of the US position as a result of a potential Republican victory in the US Presidential election next November," he adds.
Taqizadeh spoke on the subject on Friday at a two-day conference of Europe-based Iranian studies scholars held at the University of Manchester.