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Iran Hails Syria's Support for Palestinians

By Nigar Bayramli February 13, 2024

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Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian held a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, on February 11, 2024. / MFA.gov.ir

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has praised Syria's support for Palestinians, amid the current war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, at a meeting with President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

The top diplomat considered Syria to be on the front lines of the “Axis of Resistance” (Iran’s allies in the Middle East opposing Israel and the West), and deemed Syria's “historical” support for Palestine and the resistance worthy of praise and appreciation, Iran’s Foreign Ministry's website reported on February 11.

"Our assessment is that the Palestinian nation and resistance groups will not give in to the pressure and greedy demands of the Israeli regime and other sides. Palestinians have some ideas for the post-war Gaza and the West Bank and that they can make decisions for their own future,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

"If America truly intends to refrain from expanding the scope of the war in the region, it must cease its support for the Zionist regime. If America withdraws its support for the Zionist regime, it will not be able to continue the war in Gaza even for a single day," he added.

For his turn, Assad thanked Iran for its support for Syria and its stability and security. He also underlined that his country's "historical" support for Palestinians would remain unchanged.

Earlier, at a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, the Iranian foreign minister noted the role of the private sector in the bilateral economic relations, saying that "it is imperative to remove obstacles in this field and expedite cooperation with joint efforts".

Mekdad, in turn, referring to the regional conditions, emphasized that the coordination between Iran and Syria in important regional and international issues will continue.

Addressing the developments in Gaza and the strong support of the two countries for the Palestinian issue, the Syrian minister said that "Palestine and the Axis of Resistance are the winners of this battle, and we are all proud of the resistance and its achievements in Palestine."

Iran has repeatedly pursued to increase its involvement in Syria's reconstruction as well as to boost economic dealings. However, Damascus used its recent regional rehabilitation, facilitated by Saudi Arabia, to encourage wealthy Gulf states to make investment in the field of reconstruction.

Iranian military forces deployed in Syria since the beginning of the country's civil war have frequently been hit by Israel. Iran also tries to integrate their proxies into the Syrian army to establish a long-term influence in Syria’s military and security sectors. However, Tehran denies maintaining a military presence in Syria and refers to its troops as "military advisers". In addition, in July 2020, Iran and Syria signed a comprehensive agreement to enhance their cooperation in the military and defense sectors.

On February 10, during his third visit to Lebanon since the beginning of the Israel-Gaza war in October 2023, Amir-Abdollahian said in a meeting with his Lebanese counterpart Abdallah Bou Habib that Israel and its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "see their survival in the continuation of the war".

He also accused the US of taking a "contradictory path" in its policy on the Israel-Gaza war, saying that the US government "declares opposition" to the expansion of the war and at the same time "fully supports the Israeli regime and has not stopped supplying weapons to it for a day".

During his Gaza-focused visit to Beirut, the Iranian minister met the Lebanese prime minister, parliament speaker, as well as the leader of Lebanese Hezbollah and representatives of several Palestinian groups - Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Hamas Political Bureau and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

Amir-Abdollahian also met Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to discuss the latest political and security developments in the region, especially in the Gaza Strip, in southern Lebanon, and in other areas of "the axis of resistance".

At least 164 more Palestinians were killed in the past 24 hours as Israel continued its attack on the besieged Gaza Strip, the territory's health authorities said on February 12.

The death toll in the attacks has reached 28,340, along with 67,984 wounded, in the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, since the October 7 cross-border incursion by Hamas. Meanwhile, Tel Aviv says the initial Hamas attacks killed 1,200 people.

Israel also plans a ground invasion of Rafah, the southern city where more than 1 million of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have found shelter.