On June 1, 2014, a leading Syrian activist became a high-profile figure to confirm reports of an “Iranian blueprint” to change the demographic and sectarian make-up of Syria. Iran
In an interview published by Lebanon’s Radio Sawt Beirut International, the activist, speaking on condition of anonymity due to concerns for his safety, explained that the regime in Tehran had plans to change the sectarian composition of Syria, which at the beginning of the revolution in 2011 was majority Sunni, to a majority Shiite with a Sunni minority.
Iranian academics had already published papers on how best to ensure that the majority of Syria’s population would become Tehran-loyalist Shiites, including Alawites – the Shiite minority sect to which the Assad family belongs.
The activist further confirmed that the regime in Tehran had been conducting major real estate transactions in many areas of Syria, initially focusing particularly on Homs province whose Sunni population had already been largely ‘cleansed’ by brutal regime aerial and ground bombardment, numerous massacres and starvation sieges which continue to this day with the help of Russia and Hezbollah, as well as Iran.
In reality, Iranians have been buying up land and properties in Damascus city and province as well as other areas in Syria for years. These extremely well organized preparations for occupation have continued to be implemented over the past two years with the goal of sectarian reorganization being largely ignored by the international community which has chosen to focus instead on the fight against ISIS and the global terrorism threat they believe the group poses.
“The Iranian plan is supported by the Assad regime, with the regime itself, including senior officials close to the president , selling land and property owned by dissidents and opponents of the regime after they were seized with Iranian help and backing,” the activist explained, adding that the regime had sold further massive tracts of land and real estate in Homs to Tehran after ‘cleansing’ the city of its Sunni population and taking control of the regional capital under the cover of “anti-terrorist activities.”
Following the purchase or acquisition by force of the land and properties by dispossession and expulsion, the activist continued, the next part of Tehran’s plan will be bringing Shiites loyal to the Tehran regime from around the world – from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and other countries – to settle in Syria, with these moves actually being set into motion some time ago.
The report was corroborated in 2014 by a statement from a prominent Iranian dissident Mohamed Majid Ahwaz, who confirmed earlier reports that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard was engaged in a “direct relationship” with the leaders of the Afghan Shiite refugee population, promising to provide them with Syrian citizenship and to resettle them in Syria. Since then Iran has been sending militias comprised of Afghani refugees into Syria to fight alongside the Assad regime.
The 2014 report of Tehran’s plan to effectively change Syria’s demographic composition to majority Shiite by dispossession and occupation was not the first, nor was it the last. Radio Free Syria had published a report from the Free Syrian Army in 2012 in which senior FSA officials warned of the same plan, and a number of senior Lebanese politicians and eminent Syrian dissidents have also spoken out about it with little reaction from the international community.
In light of the collaboration between Assad and Iran, we have been seeing towards achieving this goal, there is not much hope of seeing either the regime being pressured into allowing aid into the deliberately besieged areas, or airdrops being implemented without the willingness of someone to risk a confrontation with those who are doing what they are doing as a means towards an end.
Until the world is willing to call what is happening in Syria what it really is — namely a deliberate campaign of Sunni genocide — the situation in Syria will continue on course until Assad and Iran’s desired goal has been accomplished.
By: R. Sikora, in Orient news