Iran has pledged continuing support for Bashar al-Assad. On a visit to Damascus, national security advisor Saeed Jalili said Syria is part of an essential regional alliance which he referred to as an “axis of resistance”.
Jalili said that what is taking place in Syria is not an internal issue but rather a conflict between the axis and its enemies both in the region and the world:
“When we look at the conspiracy that is being hatched against Syria, and all the political and economic sanctions applied against Syria, and the suffering caused to the Syrian people because of these sanctions; none of that would have happened if Syria was not a supporter of the axis”.
Elsewhere on the diplomatic front Iran’s foreign minister met with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara on Tuesday. The talks were dominated by the seizure of 48 Iranians by Syrian rebels.
Tehran insists they are innocent pilgrims and is asking Turkey to help secure their release.
The rebels claim they are members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, although other opposition figures have dismissed that theory.