During his electoral campaign, the Iranian President, Sheikh Hassan Rohani, pledged to stop supporting Syria. In fact, from the time he took office in August 2013, he abstained from sending members of his government to Syria and did not fill the post of ambassador to Damascus for almost two years.
The exclusive channel for Iran’s support for Syria:
• the Guide of the Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has regularly sent his collaborators to Damascus; and
• the Guardians of the Revolution who advise the Syrian Arab Army.
However, on 5 November 2018, US sanctions on the Iranian banking and oil sectors will enter into force. The entire political alliance Hassan Rohani welded with the Obama Administration will be swept away. Witnessing the refusal of President Trump for an agreement of any sort and the EU’s incapacity to act, Sheikh Hassan Rohani has had no other choice but to change his policy.
In just several days, several top officials within the Iranian government went to Damascus to lend their support to the Syrian Arab Republic. These include the Defense Minister, General Amir Hatami, who arrived in Damascus on 26 August and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad-Javad Zarif, who arrived on 3 September.
From now on, both branches of Iranian power support Damascus.