Over the past five months the Syrian pro democracy movement has grown
significantly. Demonstrations have spread in all parts of the country and
protest slogans are forcefully calling for Baschar Assad to step down. Syrians
have demonstrated with courage that the future of their country should be
shaped by a democratic government while Assad's thugs are continuing to torture
and slaughter innocent men, women and even children.
The Arab Spring has turned for Syria into a bloody summer. The brutality of the military apparatus becomes more and more inhumane every day and still Assad's henchmen are not able to silence Syria's freedom movement. For years the myth was present that Assad is deep down in his heart a reformer and more than willing to cut his alliance with Hezbollah and the Iranian dictatorship if only the West would seek enough engagement. It turned out that Assad junior is truly the son of his father. And anything, but willing to leave the treacherous fusion with other worldwide sponsors of terrorism as Hezbollah, Hamas and the Islamic Republic clearly are.
If the international community truly wants to untie the Syrian ties with terrorist groups this is the historic chance. Baschar Assad is on the edge of collapse - his regime is not only isolated, but can't continue to rule after it has lost its legitimacy.
So what should the international community do?
The weakest point of the Syrian regime is visible: its energy revenue. Oil and gas sanctions - especially imposed by European countries - will have a strong effect in supporting Syria's democracy movement. Furthermore, cutting political ties is more than a symbolic gesture. Several Arab countries - including the powerful Saudis - have withdrawn their ambassadors from Damascus. Qatar even closed its embassy already several weeks ago. It's about time that the European Union and the United States follows. Breaking the silence was something urgently needed on the world stage and now strong political measures should come next - led foremost by the US president. We do owe this not only to the Syrian people who have sacrificed their lives for a democratic cause, but also to ourselves.
While the momentum of Syria's freedom fighters is growing and growing the international community needs to realize that for years the wrong Syria has been engaged. It is the future of Syria with its vibrant civil society that has been neglected over the years. Engaging the democratic Syria is what the United States in form of a contact group are already shaping and as Secretary Clinton expressed so well this is about to be on the right side of history.
A successful Syrian revolution would immensely contribute to limit or even entirely end the destructive influence of the Iranian regime in this region. The axis Assad - Hezbollah - Islamic Republic would break and mean a strategic, financial and logistical disaster for the Islamic Republic. No wonder the Iranian dictatorship sees the fall of Baschar Assad as their second worst nightmare becoming reality.. They very well know that after Assad it'll be Khamenei who has to leave once and for all. We should know this too and seize this unique opportunity. The Syrians deserve the freedom their so courageously seeking and so do the Iranians.
Saba Farzan is a German-Iranian journalist specialized on the Middle East and Transatlantic Relations