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Home World News Washington Post World News Syrian President Assad visits Iran for meetings on rare trip

Syrian President Assad visits Iran for meetings on rare trip

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TEHRAN, Iran — Syrian President Bashar Assad met with Iranian leaders in Tehran on Sunday, Iranian state-affiliated media reported, marking his second trip to major war ally Iran since the Syrian civil war broke out 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. It said the leaders praised the strong ties between their nations and promised to further strengthen relations. Assad is said to have 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, believed to be close to the country’s powerful paramilitary Revolutionary Guard Corps. “Syria’s respect and credibility is now much more than before.”

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

“The strategic relations between Iran and Syria are caused by the lack of domination of the Zionist regime in the region,” Assad told Nour News.

Iranian media published photos of Assad shaking Khamenei’s hand warmly and grinning next to Raisi.

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

He has 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 willing to reconnect with Syria’s once widely shunned president. .

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



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