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Region: GCC’s ‘near abroad’

Iran scored a diplomatic coup as part of the ‘Trilateral Mechanism’, along with Russia and Turkey, that convened Syrian peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan this month. The troika announced a mechanism to consolidate the uneasy ceasefire in a move that elevates the Islamic Republic to the top table of diplomacy in a conflict critical to Europe and the Middle East (see Politics). Tehran has achieved this while projecting its forces as a key military partner for President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime and its essential ally, Russia.

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