Iran pledges support to embattled Syrian Prez Assad
Damascus: A footage displaying Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and senior Iranian envoy and chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili sitting face to face at the presidential palace, was broadcasted by the state TV on Tuesday.
This is Assad’s second TV appearance since July 18 when bombing killed four of his top security officials, including his brother in law.
Syrian state TV reported that Assad and Jalili discussed bilateral relations between Syria and Iran as well as the crisis in Syria.
Saeed Jalili, Iran`s security chief vowed full support Syria saying that its partnership with Syria won`t be diluted due to any uprising.
Jalili also referred to an "axis of resistance" saying that Syria was part of it and said that it wouldn`t be allowed to be broken anyway.
"Iran will not allow the axis of resistance, of which it considers Syria to be an essential part, to be broken in any way," Syrian television quoted Jalili as saying.
Analysts say, "axis of resistance" refers to Iran, Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in Gaza.
Jalili is also reported to have told Assad that Iran was prepared to provide humanitarian aid to Syria.
Iran says it’s looking forward to an international meeting over Syria on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi was in Ankara today to meet Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and discuss Syria and the situation of the abducted Iranians.
Syrian rebels on Saturday abducted a group of 48 Iranians near Damascus, branding them as spies assisting Assad.
While Iran says they were not from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, but innocent Shia pilgrims on their way to a shrine on the outskirts of Damascus.
The abductions have done well to pull Iran much closer to Syrian situation. Iran claims it has no forces in Syria for assistance of Syrian regime against the rebels.
The rebels claimed that three of the 48 abducted Iranians had been killed during the bombardment by Syrian forces in Damascus and threaten killing the remaining ones if Assad’s forces didn’t stop the crackdown.
However this couldn’t be confirmed as the Iranian Embassy in Damascus had no information regarding this.
Also, Iran has said it would hold US responsible for safety of the abducted Iranians.
Iran`s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said that US would be held accountable for the lives of those abducted as it supported "terrorist groups" and dispatched weapons to Syrian rebels.
With Agency Inputs
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