The Islamic Republic's Political Elite & Syria: Understanding What They Think Through Iranian Media Narratives

The Islamic Republic of Iran has been the central regional backer of the Bashar al-Assad regime since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in March 2011. Despite the importance of Iran in the drama unfolding in Syria, including any possible resolution to the conflict, the Iranian political elite’s perceptions of the Syrian civil war are arguably not well understood. This report attempts to uncover these perceptions by analyzing the Iranian print news media and highlighting the dominant narratives. As one of the first systematic studies of Iranian media narratives on the Syrian civil war, this report can be an aid to policymakers, academics, journalists and others in understanding the Iranian political elite’s thinking on this issue.