In Surprise Visit, Syria’s Assad Makes One-Day Trip to Tehran To Meet Khamenei, Raisi
Syrian President Bashar Assad made a surprise visit to Tehran and met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi. Assad visited Iran on Sunday and returned home to Damascus the same day, NourNews, an Iranian news outlet affiliated with Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, reported. The leaders called for stronger ties between the two countries. Khamenei told Assad that “the respect and prestige of Syria are greater than before, and everyone sees this country as a power,” according to Iranian state television. Assad’s regime in Syria has been receiving assistance in the 11-year civil war from Iran’s proxy militias and as well as from Russia’s major military intervention in 2015. Assad reportedly said, “The strategic ties between Iran and Syria have prevented the Zionist regime’s [Israel] dominance in the region.” Israel has targeted Iranian forces in Syria, which is on its northern border. Meanwhile Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Monday confirmed that the Emir of Qatar will soon visit Iran to discuss bilateral, regional and international issues. The ministry said that Raisi will soon travel to a Gulf country, though it did not specify which country.