The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs said Iran's Islamic
Revolutionary Guard Corps was coordinating massive help from Teheran to stop
the rising opposition campaign against Assad. In a report, the center said
Iran was also providing the Assad regime with advanced equipment to monitor
"Iran also apparently provided Syria with advanced eavesdropping
equipment which enables the identification of activists who converse by
phone or use social networks on the Internet," the report, titled "How Iran
Is Helping Assad Suppress Syria's Arab Spring," said.
Authored by retired Lt. Col. Michael Segall, the report said Iran
regards Syria as a vital asset in Teheran's strategy of dominating
the Levant, Middle East Newsline reported. The report said the loss of Syria, regarded as the weak link in
Teheran's sphere of influence, would sever the so-called Shi'ite crescent,
which extends from Iran to Lebanon.
The report said IRGC has brought advisers from Iranian police and law
enforcement to help Assad quell the pro-democracy demonstrations. IRGC's
Quds Brigade, led by Brig. Gen. Qassam Suleimani, was also said to have
brought Hizbullah fighters to Syria as well as members of Iran's Basij
"With the outbreak of protest in Syria, the IRGC dispatched special
emissaries, commanders of the Basij — volunteer forces of the IRGC that
also repressed the uprising in Iran — to Damascus to help Assad," the
report said. "Having gained experience from the violent and so far
successful repression of the Iranian protest wave following the
controversial elections of 2009, Iran is sending advisers from its domestic
security body, the Law Enforcement Services and the Islamic Revolutionary
Guard Corps to help its ally and important member of the resistance camp
The report said should Iran fail then the fall of the Assad regime would
herald the end of Arab nationalism. Segall said this could lead to the
formation of a new Arab or Islamic identity shaped by Iran and Turkey.
"In the shadow of the growing assertiveness of Shi'ite Iran and Sunni
Turkey, both of which seek a great-power role, the Arab world finds itself
divided and lacking any guiding paradigm as the old order falls apart," the
The report said Iran fears NATO intervention in Syria, particularly via
neighboring Turkey. Segall also cited reports of Hizbullah fighters killed
when they fired at protesters.
Among the equipment Iran was to have relayed included logistics systems,
sniper rifles and Nokia Siemens Networks meant to disrupt the Internet. Over
the last decade, Iran has acquired NSN's Lawful Interception Management
System, designed to monitor and disrupt communications. In all, Iran was
said to have transferred $6 billion worth of equipment to Damascus.
"Essentially, Iran is fully committed to helping Syria," the report
said. "At present it appears that Iran is mobilizing all the means at its
disposal to protect its strategic ally Syria. At the same time, it is
probably already examining ways to retain its influence over a post-Assad
Syria, and it may come to view Iraq, after U.S. forces withdraw, as a
fitting alternative for its ongoing subversive activity in the Middle East
and the Persian Gulf."