Middle East

Syria's Assad sees more Iranian support after nuclear deal

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, meets with Ali Akbar Velayati, an adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, May 19, 2015. (SANA via AP)

BEIRUT: Syrian President Bashar Assad said Tuesday he was confident his top regional ally Iran would step up its efforts to back "just causes," suggesting he expects more backing from Tehran in his fight against insurgents after a nuclear deal.

Shiite power Iran has provided crucial financial and diplomatic support for Assad and has sent military advisers to Syria while backing fighters from Hezbollah and other militiamen involved in the conflict.

"We are confident that the Islamic Republic of Iran will support, with greater drive, just causes of nations and work for peace and stability in the region and the world," Assad said in a congratulatory message to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei published by state news agency SANA.

Assad also called the atomic agreement sealed in Vienna a "major turning point" in the history of Iran, the region and the world.

"The coming days will see momentum in the constructive role played by the Islamic Republic of Iran in supporting for the rights of people and the laying of the foundation stones for amiable relations between nations for the good of humanity," Assad said in a separate message to Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, according to SANA.

SANA and Syrian Presidency Twitter feed published archive headshots of Rouhani, Khamanei and Assad alongside each other as a single image. Rouhani said last month Iran would back the Syrian nation and government "until the end of the road."





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