Syrian president denies Iran rift

Al-Assad accuses "enemies" of Islamic countries of trying to sow discord.

    Al-Assad (left) has visited Iran five times
    since taking office in 2000 [Reuters]

    Some Arab diplomats have said Syria feels betrayed by Iran because of a joint Iranian-Saudi Arabian effort to clamp down on sectarian tensions in Iraq and violence in Lebanon.
     
    The site did not elaborate on who the "enemies" Assad referred to might be, but during his two-day trip the Syrian president also accused the U.S. and Israel of having "ominous aims."
     
    'Sinister aims'
     
    "We should co-operate and work to make the public aware of the sinister aims of the United States and the Zionists,” al-Assad said on Saturday after talks with his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
     
    Al-Assad's comments were reflected in an editorial on Sunday in Syria's Al-Baath newspaper, published by the country’s ruling Baath party, which said relations between Syria and Iran were still strong even if their views were not identical on all issues.
     
    On the subject of Iraq, Al-Baath said: "Though their visions are not identical on everything, they however agree on two basic issues; Iraqi unity and the departure of the occupation forces, and the support of the political process in Iraq."
     
    During his visit Assad held talks with Ahmadinejad, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the country's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani. Ahmadinejad described Assad's visit as fruitful and called for greater cooperation between their countries.
     
    'Plots'
     
    "Current situations in the region, especially in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon and Afghanistan, have doubled the need for cooperation and coordination between Iran and Syria, particularly to confront plots by enemies," state television's website quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.
     
    Iran and Syria have long been close allies. During the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, Syria was the only Arab country to support Iran.
     
    The two countries have both come under criticism from the United States, which does not have diplomatic relations with either Damascus or Tehran.
     
    Washington has accused Syria of not doing enough to prevent militants from crossing its border into Iraq and has blamed Iran for supporting Shia militias in attacks that have killed American troops.
     
    Both Iran and Syria have rejected the accusations.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Cricket World Cup 2019 Quiz: How many runs can you score?

    Cricket World Cup 2019 Quiz: How many runs can you score?

    Pick your team and answer as many correct questions in three minutes.

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Remembering Chernobyl

    Remembering Chernobyl

    The fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion remains as politicised as ever, 28 years on.