Tag team effort

and that's the way it was

Putting two and two together, Mohammad Javad Zarif’s recent travels and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s recent chat with Saudi FM Adel al-Jubeir point to a coordinated push by Bashar al-Assad’s two biggest allies, Russia and Iran, to follow-up the nuclear deal by recharging some kind of peace process in Syria. In fact, Zarif is supposed to be in Moscow on Monday to meet with Lavrov and discuss, you got it, Syria.

So far, Russia’s efforts at building consensus on a Syrian deal that allows everybody to focus their fire on ISIS have been decidedly less successful than Iran’s, though to be fair Zarif has been mostly talking to friendly audiences in Lebanon (Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah) and Damascus (Assad himself), while Russia has been talking to the Saudis and the “legitimate” Syrian opposition. Lavrov’s meeting on Thursday with Khaled Khoja, the head of the Syrian National Coalition, apparently…

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