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Syrian President Assad visits Iran, meets Leader

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TEHRAN — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made an unannounced visit to Iran on Sunday morning and met with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi.

This is the second time that Assad visits Tehran since the beginning of the war in Syria in 2011.

According to the Leader’s office, Ayatollah Khamenei told Assad, who was accompanied by a high-ranking delegation, that Syria has “won an international war”

“Syria’s credibility is much greater today than in the past,” the Leader noted.

Ayatollah Khamenei said the resistance of the Syrian people and establishment and their victory in an international war promoted Syria’s charisma and pride.

More than 100 countries, calling themselves “friends of Syria”, backed the opponents which were poised to overthrow the Syrian government. Some of these countries backed terrorist groups, which were active in Syria under different names.

Highlighting Syria’s great military and political achievements, the Leader said today’s Syria is not comparable to the Syria before the war.

Today the president of Syria and the Syrian people are proud of the nations of the region, Ayatollah Khamenei.

The Leader added, “Some leaders of our and your neighboring countries meet and greet with the leaders of the Zionist regime and drink coffee together, but the people of these countries take to the streets on Quds Day and chant anti-Zionist slogans, and this is the reality of the region today.”

Pointing to several factors influencing the resistance and victory of Syria in the international war, the Leader told Assad, “One of the most important factors is your high morale and with this spirit, God willing, you can rebuild the ruins of the war because you have a great job ahead of you.”

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution also commemorated the memory of the legendary commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, saying, “That great martyr had a special liking towards Syria and literally sacrificed his life for the country. His behavior in Syria was no different from his behavior in the eight-year Sacred Defense of Iran.”

General Soleimani was very influential in defeating terrorists in Syria through his unique commandership.

Ayatollah Khamenei said General Soleimani and other prominent members of the IRGC, including martyr Hossein Hamedani, really worked hard and viewed the issue of Syria as a “sacred duty and obligation”.

“This bond (between Iran and Syria) is vital for both countries and we should not let it weaken. On the contrary, we should strengthen it as much as possible,” Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized.

The Leader also referring to expression of friendship and love of certain countries that were on the front line against Syria in previous years, suggesting Iran and Syria must clarify the path to future “with the benefit of hindsight.”

Ayatollah Khamenei also praised the morale and vivacity of the Syrian president as the basis for doing great things.

During the meeting, which was also attended by President Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, Assad thanked the position of Iran toward the Syria war and thanked the Iranian people and government for supporting his country in times of need. He also commemorated the memory of General Soleimani, saying, “Iran’s steadfastness and stable position in the past four decades on regional issues, especially the issue of Palestine, showed all the people of the region that the path of Iran is the right and principled path.”

The Syrian president pointed out that the ruins of the war in his country can be rebuilt, but if the foundations and principles had been destroyed, they could not be restored.

“The adherences of the Iranian nation to the principles of Imam Khomeini, which continued with your efforts, paved the way for the great victories of the Iranian nation and the people of the region, especially the Palestinian people,” Assad told Ayatollah Khamenei.

The Syrian president added that some people think that Iran’s support for the Resistance Front is of military nature “but the most important support and assistance of the Islamic Republic is to breathe the spirit of resistance and continuing it.”

In conclusion, the Syrian president stressed that what has made the Zionist regime unable to rule the region is the strategic relations between Iran and Syria, which must continue with strength.

Raisi says parts of Syria still under foreign occupation must be liberated

Speaking in a separate meeting with the Syrian president before noon on Sunday, President Raisi said, “What we are witnessing today in Western Asia, which is the result of the resistance of nations against domineering powers and aggressors, is what the Leader of the Islamic Revolution had predicted.”

Commemorating the martyrs of the resistance from Syria and Iran, including General Soleimani, and appreciating the bravery of the Islamic world’s fighters against terrorism, the president called Assad one of the figures of the Resistance Front “like his father.”

Referring to the political and security developments in the region in the last decade, Raisi emphasized, “The warriors of the resistance have proven that they are a reliable force for establishing stability and security in the region, including in Syria.”

Emphasizing the need for all countries to respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the president stated that Iran stood by the Syrian people and government when some Arab and non-Arab leaders in the region were betting on the time of the fall of the Syrian government.

Raisi went on to say that the bravery demonstrated by the Syrian Army, national defense forces and Resistance fighters in the region, especially Hezbollah, played a key role in uprooting Daesh and other terrorist groups that threatened the security of the entire region.

Raisi also expressed regret that important parts of the Syrian territory are still occupied by foreign forces, suggesting, “The whole of the Syrian land must be liberated from foreign occupiers. This occupation should not be subject to the passage of time, and the occupying forces and their mercenaries should be expelled.”

Referring to repeated aggressions of Israeli forces, the president stressed that the threats of the Israeli regime in the region should be addressed by “strengthening and diversifying the deterrence equations.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Raisi referred to the need to strengthen cooperation and coordination between the two countries, emphasizing, “The serious will and desire of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to improve the level of cooperation and relations with Damascus, especially in economic and trade fields.”

For his part, Syrian president stressed the role of Iran in the fight against terrorism in the region, noting that his country is ready for broader coordination with Iran in security, political and economic fields.

The Syrian president added, “In the years of resistance and confrontation with Western and Takfiri aggressions, Iran was the only country that stood by us from the beginning.”

He described the relations between Syria and Iran as “strategic” and stated that developments in the region after a decade of war against the axis of resistance, have shown that resistance is effective and vibrant.

“We have shown that by working closely with the countries of the region, we can defeat the United States and the hegemons who claim to be superpowers, and today we are witnessing the collapse of the role of the United States in the Western Asia region,” Assad stated, adding that the world is witnessing the declining role of the United States in the region.

Elsewhere in the conversation, the Syrian president said, “Experience has shown that the coordination and interaction of countries in the region on various issues, including the Palestinian issue, has been very effective, and the success of the Palestinian resistance has shown that compromise by some Arab states has backfired.”

Thanking Iran’s support for the Syrian people in the war on terrorism, Assad said, “The Syrian people and government are grateful to the Iranian people and consider themselves committed and indebted to Iran.”