Interesting article about the rise and fall of Imad Mughniyeh. But I question the sources responsible for the part below. Mark Perry tried to paint a complex Syrian/Iranian relationship. I get things weren't rosey during Hafez's reign. But after the 2005 Hariri assassination, the Hizbullah war of 2006 and the 2007 Syrian-sponsored Fateh al-Islam war on Lebanon, the following is really hard to swallow:
Relations soured further after the 2006 Lebanon war. Facing domestic economic pressures as a result of U.S.-imposed sanctions, the Syrian president pursued deeper ties with the West -- over Iranian objections. "I want to make this clear: Syria views itself as a Mediterranean country," Imad Moustapha, then Syria's ambassador to the United States, pointedly told me in 2007. "We look west -- not east. We look to America for leadership." The statement, shocking at the time, reflected Syria's desire to normalize relations with Washington -- a fact that discomfited Tehran.
Hezbollah had its own problems with Damascus. Movement leaders were bitter about Syria's February 2007 decision to open a communications channel with Israel through Turkey, and with Assad's decision to send the Sunni Islamist militants of Fatah al-Islam into the Lebanese city of Tripoli, where they sparked a bitter conflict in a Palestinian refugee camp in May 2007 that claimed hundreds of lives. Syria's move in Tripoli roiled Hezbollah leaders, who accused Assad of purposely attempting to destabilize the Lebanese government -- at their expense. "We know who's responsible for Tripoli, even if you and your journalist friends don't," a Hezbollah official told me at the time.
Ties between Damascus and Hezbollah reached a low point that September when Israeli jets bombed Syria's clandestine nuclear reactor under construction in the country's north and Assad's regime refused to respond militarily. In private, a senior Hezbollah leader with whom I spoke accused Syria of "flirting with the Zionists."
The Hariri assassination in 2005 ushered in a new era in the region: the complete transformation of the Assad regime into an Iranian satellite. Quoting Imad Mustapha is no evidence to the contrary.
Hizbullah bitter about Fatah al-Islam because it "destabilized" the Lebanese government "at their expense"?
In 2007, and the years before and after, Hizbullah wasted no effort to destabilize and undermine the Lebanese government. It culminated in an invasion and occupation of downtown Beirut. Just hit this blog's archives.
Hizbullah cared about two things: its weapons, and role as "resistance". Was Nasrallah pissed off Assad did not respond after the Israeli strike?
He did respond: through Hizbullah.