Syria Opposition Leader: In post-Assad Era, Damascus Would Likely End Its Alliance With Iran

Syrian National Council leader says post-Assad regime would accept the Arab League peace initiative but will seek to reclaim the Golan Heights.

A Syrian opposition leader said that a post-Assad regime in Damascus would likely see a change in Syria's relationship with Iran, according to a Washington Times report published Monday.

"This primarily depends on the Iranian position toward the regime change," said Samir Nashar, a member of Syrian National Council's executive board.

Syria - Reuters - 03012012

"If they are willing not to adopt hostile position, we expect the relation to be a positive one, which might not be similar to the relation of strategic alliance, but more a relation between two sovereign countries, like those between Iran and Turkey".

Nashar also said Syria would seek to reclaim the Golan Heights and that the country would support the Palestinian people, and work to further Arab cooperation and regional solidarity.

The Syrian opposition leader said the opposition was more interested in internal reform, rather than foreign policy: “Our first priority in the post-Assad Syria will be to rebuild the country internally and socially in terms of infrastructure.”

But when asked about the possibility of making peace with Israel, he said, “The new Syria will fully support the rights of the Palestinian people and will work to further Arab cooperation and regional solidarity. And will build its relationship with countries based on mutual respect".

Asked whether the new Syrian regime would recognize Israel, he said: "This will be left to the will of Syrian people who will express their will on this democratically following the overthrow of the Syrian regime".

"The Arab Initiative will most probably be acceptable after the regime change, and we hope it will become a reality,” he told the Washington Times. “After Syria will get back the Golan Heights, they will accept whatever will be accepted by the Palestinian people."

When asked whether Hamas still be welcome in Damascus, he replied that "keeping Hamas under positive Arab influence is a good thing and Syria can encourage Hamas to keep unity with the Palestinian Authority, it's better than to leave Hamas on their own devices or to other players' influence".

He added that most of the opposition leaders support an international military intervention aimed at ousting President Bashar Assad "as early as possible," adding that some may not be brave enough to say so openly.