Lecturer at the Research Institute for Religious and Economic Affairs and former IRGC navy commander Hossein Alaei discussed developments in Syria, and said that the Americans and Russians are seeking a formula to replace Assad. Speaking before a group of students and lecturers, Alaei said that most political regimes in the Middle East inherited Cold War conditions and in these countries, parties have no meaning in the liberal sense. Parties in these countries are established by the regime itself, and in these countries, elections are almost meaningless. The perspective of all issues, including social issues, is seen through a security-oriented lens and there is no demonstration of flexibility with regards to social movements. For these countries, there is only one solution to these issues and that is suppression and a military solution. When social movement and protests began in Syria, this solution was also used. During the course of the events, several actors entered Syria that ignored the primary role of citizens in the protest and essentially exiled them from the arena. Regional and international forces defined each of their plans for Syria. Countries such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar displayed extreme activity in the Syrian arena. From the US’s perspective, events in Syria had to be managed to ensure Israel’s security. The French wanted to revive its former influence in Lebanon and Syria. With regards to Iran’s position in Syria, Alaei said that with the expansion of conflict in Syria,Iran appeared as a country that supported the status quo and believes in free elections that involved no foreign involvement. The reason being that Iran believed that this was not just a civilian movement to achieve democracy but foreign players who infiltrated the arena to protect their interests. In any way, the situation in Syria is not moving towards a solution but towards deterioration. In my opinion, the situation in Syria is worsening for Bashar Assad but it is extremely difficult to predict the future. In any case, the international community must prevent an American assault in order to allow changes in this country to benefit the citizens and democracy.