IRI First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi said here Wednesday despite massive ongoing invasion of major powers, Syrian nation would resist firmly against conspiracies of enemies.
According to IRNA Wednesday night news team, the information website of the President’s Office further reported Rahimi as making the comment in a meeting with visiting Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Omar Qalavanji and his accompanying delegation.
The Iranian vice president referred to the demise of a number of high ranking Syrian officials in a terrorist explosion last week and consoling with the Syrian officials of the occasion, reiterated, “Syria is the land where many divine prophets have raised, and beyond doubt God would shower its blessings and emerge the Syrian nation victorious against their enemies.”
The Iranian top official emphasized the need for preserving national unity and elevating resistance against the enemies, adding, “President Bashar al-Assad’s reforms process in Syria has been a very positive and constructive move and we hope in very near future the signs of defeat of the enemies and the victory of the Syrian nation would become evident.”
Rahimi then considered Syria the axis if resistance against the global oppression’s hegemony, adding, “Under such conditions that the entire major world powers have united to inflict a severe blow against Syria, the Syrian nation is united and solidly resisting, and Iran would always remain by the side of its Syrian brethren.”
Deputy Syrian Prime Minister Qalavanji, too, said in the meeting that Syria is exposed to heavy conspiracy of oppressor powers today, emphasizing, “Relying on the sagacious leadership of Syrian politicians, the Syrians would leave behind the ongoing serious crisis.
Appreciating the Islamic Republic of Iran’s selfless and wholehearted support for the Syrian nation, he reiterated, “In the course of meetings with Iranian officials and personalities we realized that the will of the Islamic Republic of Iran for full support for Syria is quite tangible.”
The Syrian deputy prime minister also spoke about the optimist and high spirit of the Syrian nation, arguing, “In defense of its stands and ideals, the Syrian nation is quite firm and resolute, and would pass through the present day problems relying on the support of its real friends.”
Syria and Iran are strategic allies. Syria is often called Iran’s ‘closest ally’, the Arab nationalism ideology of Syria’s ruling Ba’th Party notwithstanding. During the Iran–Iraq War, Syria sided with non-Arab Iran against its enemy Iraq and was isolated by Saudi Arabia and some of the Arab countries, with the exceptions of Libya, Lebanon, Algeria, Sudan and Oman. Iran and Syria have had a strategic alliance ever since, partially due to their common animosity towards Saddam Hussein and coordination against the United States and Israel. Syria and Iran both support the Hezbollah of Lebanon, which borders Israel.
On 16 June 2006 the defense ministers of Iran and Syria signed an agreement for military cooperation against what they called the ‘common threats’ presented by Israel and the United States. Details of the agreement were not specified, however the Iranian defense Minister Najjar said ‘Iran considers Syria’s security its own security, and we consider our defense capabilities to be those of Syria.’ The visit also resulted in the sale of Iranian military hardware to Syria. In addition to receiving military hardware, Iran has consistently invested billions of dollars into the Syrian economy. The Syrian leadership, including President Assad himself, belongs predominantly to the Alawite branch of Shi’a Islam. Currently, Iran is involved in implementing several industrial projects in Syria, including cement factories, car assembly lines, power plants, and silo construction. Iran also plans to set up a joint Iranian–Syrian bank in the future.
On 17 February 2007, Presidents Ahmadinejad and Assad met in Tehran. Ahmadinejad afterwards declared that they would form an alliance to combat US and Israeli conspiracies against the Islamic world.
In late June the Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei, stated in regards to the uprising: “In Syria, the hand of America and Israel is evident;” and in regards to the al-Assad regime: “Wherever a movement is Islamic, populist, and anti-American, we support it.” Other Iranian officials have made similar pronouncements identifying the US government as the origin of the uprising. However, in late August, the Iranian government gave its ‘first public sign’ of concern over Syrians’ handling of its crisis when Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi issued a statement including the Syrian government in the list of states he urged to “answer to the demands of its people.”