Check out these two photos of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad, celebrating the Eid al-Adha in 2012 and 2016. The men to his left and right are the same people, dressed the same way. But Assad is now affecting Iranian style: ties are for the hated Western imperialists and colonialists, and Assad here renouncing them here just as Iranian officials always do.
Sartorial evidence of growing Iranian control of Assad and Syria is a tiny and amusing hint of a deep and dangerous, though equally, obvious, fact: Assad cannot survive without the support of the ayatollahs. He will bow to them in everything from military tactics to his own clothing.