Iran, Saudi Arabia in direct talks

Arch rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia would hold direct talks in Mecca to address the crisis in Syria and cool the region’s growing sectarian divide.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is leading the Iranian delegation which arrived in Medina on Monday — a day ahead of the two-day conference in Mecca of the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The Iranian President is visiting the Kingdom at the personal invitation of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz — in itself a strong signal of the urgency that Riyadh attaches to this meeting.

These talks are not going well for Syria:

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to suspend Syria: source

I think this has something to do with the different sects of Islam.

Islam in Syria
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Yes, different sects and different tribe alliances.

Iran likely to boost assistance to Assad regime in the near term

Iranian leaders believe more and more that Western and Arab involvement in the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al Assad is designed to weaken the Islamic Republic. Tehran feels threatened by the so-called Sunni Triangle’s (Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia) support for Syrian rebels, which Iran views as a complement to sanctions that aim to limit its regional influence and prestige. The United States’s alliance with these countries makes it more difficult to resolve any disagreements over Syria. In this context, Iran finds supporting Assad – at least in the near term – as the best worst option. This policy isn’t new, but the parameters of what Tehran is willing to provide have expanded.

The audacious bombing of the National Security Council in Damascus on 18 July probably represented a watershed moment in Iranian thinking about the uprising in Syria. The “nuclear” option, dispatching units of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to assist Assad’s weakened forces, is very unlikely – it would likely trigger a so-called Chapter 7 UN resolution authorizing Western military intervention or provide enough impetus to inspire a coalition of the willing. But Tehran, now more than ever, is willing to do more to help Syria’s embattled president.

First, the Iranian regime is likely to divert perhaps tens of millions of euros to help Assad counteract the flight of foreign reserves. It views support of Assad as important enough to justify the diversion of scarce reserves despite the increasing domestic economic pain caused by international sanctions. Second, Iran is likely to boost its provisions of arms and intelligence to the Assad regime. It has so far been reluctant to provide a large amount of support out of fear that doing so would play into the Syrian opposition’s efforts to divide the regime’s base on sectarian grounds. As the threat to the Assad regime has grown, that calculus has changed. Finally, Hezbollah forces have a great deal of fighting experience that would be valuable to Assad. However, the regime will likely dispatch them in a covert manner to avoid destabilizing the Lebanese government.

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