March 25th 2013 in Briefings International Relations

The Islamic Republic of Iran issued a statement on March 22 condemning the bombing that killed staunch Assad ally and top Syrian Sunni Muslim cleric Mohamed Saeed al-Bouti in Damascus. Shia clerics sent by Hezbollah and Iran eulogized al-Bouti at his funeral on March 23, demonstrating the important role that the Sunni scholar had played in supporting the Assad regime, which is dominated by the Alawite sect that is derived from Shia Islam. Additionally, on March 24 news agencies reported that Moaz al-Khatib, the head of Syria’s main opposition alliance, resigned, citing frustration with international powers as well as the opposition council. Al-Khatib’s resignation further complicates attempts to create a viable opposition government to replace that of President Bashar al-Assad, who is being supported by Iran, China, and Russia. (March 22, 2013 – France 24; March 23, 2013 – VOA News)