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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s continuing hold on power is attributable to Iran’s determined and continual investment in the Syrian conflict, as argued in the Atlantic Council’s latest analysis on Iran, Tehran Stands Atop the Syria-Iran Alliance.

Danielle Pletka, senior vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, writes that Russia has been key to ensuring his hold on limited power, but the Syrian regime can have full confidence only in Tehran. Pletka examines ties between Syria and Iran, the power relationship that has emerged, and the legacy it leaves for the next Syrian ruler. She concludes that Assad, or any Alawite ruler that succeeds him, will be wholly reliant on Iran for the foreseeable future.