Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi after making an unannounced visit to the Iranian capital on Sunday morning and then left for Damascus the same day, according to Nournews, an outlet affiliated with Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC).
The supreme leader’s website confirmed the meeting. Its readout of the rare sit-down quoted Khamenei as telling Assad that his “victory in an international war” has increased the credibility of Syria and that Iran wishes to boost bilateral ties.
“Today’s Syria is not Syria before the war, even though there was no destruction back then, but now the respect and credibility of Syria are much more and all look to it as a power,” Khamenei was quoted as saying.
Khamenei also took aim at countries in the region which have normalized ties with Israel or hold high-level meetings with its officials, saying this is while their own people are chanting anti-Zionist slogans on Quds Day.
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This is the Syrian president’s second trip to Tehran since the start of Syria’s war in 2011. He had previously met the Iranian supreme leader, his biggest regional ally, in February 2019.
At the time, Qassem Soleimani, the commander-in-chief of the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), had accompanied Assad on his visit.
The Syrian official news agency SANA reported that Assad paid a “work visit” to Tehran and met Supreme Leader of the Iranian Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, and the Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.
Talks during the meetings dealt with the historical relations between Syria and Iran, which are based on a long track of bilateral cooperation and mutual understanding on the issues and problems of the region and the challenges it faces, in addition to topics and issues of common interest and the latest developments on the regional and international arenas.
During his meeting with Khamenei, President al-Assad affirmed that the course of events proved once again the correctness of the vision and approach adopted by Syria and Iran for years, especially in the fight against terrorism.
“This confirms the importance of continuing cooperation in order not to allow America to rebuild the international terrorist system that is used to harm the countries of the world, especially the countries of the region over the past decades,” President Assad said, stressing that America today is weaker than ever.
President Assad pointed out that the Palestinian cause is increasingly re-imposed its presence and importance in the conscience of the Arab and Islamic world thanks to the sacrifices of the heroes of the resistance.
For his part, Seyyed Khamenei stressed that Iran will continue to support Syria to complete its victory over terrorism and liberate the rest of the country’s lands.
He added that Syria is achieving historical victories thanks to the steadfastness and courage of President Assad and the strength and steadfastness of the country’s people and army.
In turn, the Iranian President affirmed that his country is willing to expand relations with Syria, especially economic and commercial ones.
“Tehran will continue to provide all forms of support to Syria and its people, especially amidst the difficult economic conditions the world is witnessing,” Raisi said.
He added that his country will help Damascus overcome difficulties and considered that any suffering for Syria is suffering for Iran.
President Assad indicated that Iran is a brotherly country, a friend and a loyal partner, considering that the approach taken by the Islamic Republic of Iran in dealing with regional and international affairs benefits not only the interests of Iran and Syria but also all the countries and peoples of the region.
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