TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A senior Iranian official says his country considers any attack against Syria an attack on itself, one of the most open statements of support yet by Tehran to its ally.
Ali Akbar Velayati, an advisor to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted by the semiofficial Mehr news agency on Saturday as saying that Syria plays a major role in the "resistance front" of anti-Israel states and militant groups.
"For this same reason, an attack on Syria is considered an attack on Iran and Iran's allies," he says.
Iran is Syria's most important ally in the Middle East. Tehran has provided President Bashar al-Assad's government with military and political backing for years, and has kept up its strong support for the regime since the uprising began in March 2011.