Monday, July 05, 2004

Bashar al-Assad Arrives - Tehran-Damascus Talks Start

Description of Selected News: "Iran and Syria Hold Fateful Discussions

By Hassan Hanizadeh
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad arrived in Tehran heading a high-ranking delegation on Sunday to meet and hold talks with Iranian officials.

Assad’s trip to Iran is very important at this critical juncture.

After the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran the two countries established extensive relations due to their common geopolitical interests. Iran and Syria have been exchanging views on significant regional affairs ever since.

At the time, Syria’s former president, the late Hafiz Assad, who was a prominent figure in the Arab world, was the first Arab leader to realize the significance of the Islamic Revolution of Iran and referred to it as the Arabs’ strategic depth.

During the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, Assad defended Iran’s justified stance. At all the gatherings and summits of Arab leaders he attended, Assad always said that Iraq’s invasion of Iran was in line with the objectives of the Zionist regime.

Due to their similar stances, the two important regional countries of Iran and Syria established a united front against the expansionist policies of the Zionist regime.

In response, Israel, with the support of the United States, attempted to undermine Tehran-Damascus relations. However, during the 1980s and 1990s, Iranian and Syrian leaders held frequent consultations due to the imposed Iran-Iraq war, Israel’s invasion of southern Lebanon in 1982, and the infamous Oslo Accords, and the vigilance and insight of the two countries’ officials neutralized the plots.

Now that the region is going through a difficult time, it is essential that Iran, Syria, and Lebanon hold intense consultations in order to thwart the threats against the region.

The U.S. economic sanctions on Syria, Israel’s extensive attacks against the Palestinian nation, the Zionist regime’s threats against Lebanon and Syria, the situation in Iraq, and the U.S. Greater Middle East Initiative are some of the issues that were discussed by Iranian and Syrian officials.

Since Syria is still on the frontline of the anti-Zionist struggle, Iran should strengthen its ties with the country in order to help limit the Zionist regime’s influence in the region and prevent the implementation of plans that oppress regional Muslims and Palestinians."

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