NewsSpecial WireBeleaguered Iran makes common cause with Syria

Beleaguered Iran makes common cause with Syria

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Jan. 19 – Hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on a two-day visit to Syria, said that strengthening ties between the Islamic Republic and its regional ally had “thwarted” the “ploys” of enemy states. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Jan. 19 – Hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on a two-day visit to Syria, said that strengthening ties between the Islamic Republic and its regional ally had “thwarted” the “ploys” of enemy states.

“The determination of both Iran and Syria in their principle and revolutionary positions and long-term goals thwarted and cleared off many decades-old ploys and problems”, Ahmadinejad said after talks with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

The hard-line Iranian president was welcomed at Damascus airport by Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara.

At a joint conference al-Assad declared Syria’s support for Iran’s “right” to acquire nuclear capabilities. The Syrian leader said that the West had provided no convincing argument to ban Iran from such a right. He also noted that the regional circumstances required further strengthening of Iranian-Syrian bilateral ties.

On Wednesday, Ahmadinejad told reporters in Tehran that Tehran-Damascus ties had reached an “excellent” level.

He described the two nations’ ties as “brotherly, deep, and long-lasting”, while at the same time stating that their both states objected to the “interference of foreigners in the Middle East”.

In July, al-Assad paid a state visit to Tehran, and earlier this month the Syrian leader underlined the importance of Tehran-Damascus bilateral relations and defended Tehran in its “legitimate right” to carry out its nuclear activities.

In a meeting with Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad-Reza Baqeri in Damascus, al-Assad described Israel as a regional threat.

Last week, Iran Focus reported that the new Iranian ambassador to Damascus, radical Shiite cleric Mohammad Hassan Akhtari, was instructed to reassure Syria’s leaders of Iran’s continuing strong support for their beleaguered government.

Iran’s official media have been pouring scorn on Syria’s former vice-president, Abdel-Halim Khaddam, calling him a “traitor” and “a tool in the hands of the Global Oppressor”, a reference to the United States.

Regional allies Tehran and Damascus have both been branded by the United States as state sponsors of terrorism.

On Wednesday, Syrian Prime Minister Muhammad Naji al-Utri, meeting Akhtari, called for expansion of relations with Iran in all fields.

He said that the two regional allies had to fight against the enemies in a “united trench”.

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