Syrian President Assad visits Iran for meetings in rare trip

0

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad met with Iranian leaders in Tehran on Sunday, state-linked Iranian media reported, marking his second trip to Iran, a major wartime ally since the war. outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2011.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad met with Iranian leaders in Tehran on Sunday, state-linked Iranian media reported, marking his second trip to Iran, a major wartime ally since the war. outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2011.

Nour News, a website close to Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, reported that Assad met with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi earlier in the day. He said the leaders welcomed the strong ties between their nations and pledged to further strengthen the relationship. Assad reportedly left Tehran for Damascus later on Sunday.

“Everyone now sees Syria as a power,” Khamenei told Assad at the meeting, according to Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency, which is seen as close to the powerful paramilitary Revolutionary Guards. “Syria’s respect and credibility is now much more than before.”

Assad, for his part, said the strong relations between Iran and Syria serve as a bulwark against Israel’s influence in the Middle East.

“The strategic relations between Iran and Syria are caused by the Zionist regime’s lack of dominance in the region,” Assad was quoted by Nour News as saying.

Iranian media published photos of Assad warmly shaking Khamenei’s hand and smiling alongside Raisi.

Assad has rarely traveled abroad since his crackdown on civil unrest in Syria in 2011 led to a devastating civil war and made him a global pariah.

He visited key patrons, Russia and Iran, and made his first trip to the United Arab Emirates since the conflict earlier this year – the clearest signal yet that the Arab world is ready to reconnect with the once largely shunned president as Arab states seek to blunt the growing influence of their Shia foe in Syria.

Tehran gave the Syrian government billions of dollars in aid and sent Iranian-backed fighters to fight alongside its forces – aid that, along with Russian air power, helped turn the tide in Assad’s favor .

The visit to Tehran marked Assad’s first trip to the Iranian capital in more than two years. The visit was not announced in advance.

Police were out in force on Tehran’s main thoroughfares and intersections on Sunday.

The Associated Press






Share.

Comments are closed.