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Assad: Iran to redouble support
following nuclear deal

Syria's president hailed the landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 world powers.

Assad and Khamenei. (AFP/STR)

BEIRUT – Syria’s president has hailed the historic nuclear deal inked between Iran and the P5+1 powers, saying that Damascus is “quite assured” that Tehran will further its support for support his regime.

 

Bashar al-Assad early Tuesday afternoon sent separate cables to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani congratulating Tehran over the deal, calling it a “historic achievement.”

 

“We are quite assured that the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue, with greater momentum, supporting the just issues of peoples and working for peace and stability to prevail in the region and the world,” Syria’s state SANA news agency quoted Assad as saying in a communiqué to Khamenei hours after the landmark deal was inked in Vienna.

 

In a separate cable to his Iranian counterpart, Assad called the nuclear agreement a “fundamental turning point in the history of Iran’s relations with the countries of the region and the world,” according to SANA.

 

The Syrian president’s comments serve as a reference to Iran’s support for its allies, including Damascus, which has reportedly already markedly increased in recent months, most recently last week when Iran granted Syria a $1 billion credit line.

 

Reports have emerged that Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers have played an increasingly more direct role in coordinating the regime’s military efforts, especially in the Hama-Idlib-Latakia region south of rebel front lines as well as in the outskirts of Damascus.

 

In late May, IRGC Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani toured the Latakia region of Syria along the frontlines with Syrian rebels and vowed “the world will be surprised by what we and the Syrian military leadership are preparing for the coming days.”

 

Days later, AFP cited an unnamed Syrian security source as saying that “around 7,000 Iranian and Iraqi fighters have arrived in Syria over the past few weeks,” echoing a similar report in the pro-Assad As-Safir daily.

 

Commentators in the region expect that Tuesday’s nuclear accord—which calls for Iran to curb its uranium enrichment in return for sanction relief—will boost Iran’s financial abilities to back its regional allies, including Hezbollah and the Assad regime.

 

Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu echoed this sentiment earlier Tuesday in his angry condemnation of the agreement, in which he said Iran was about to receive a “bonanza billions of dollars.”

 

“Iran will get a jackpot, a cash bonanza of hundreds of billions of dollars, which will enable it to continue to pursue its aggression and terror in the region and in the world,” the Jerusalem Post quoted him as saying.

 

As of Tuesday afternoon, Israel was the only country to officially denounce the agreement, which has been hailed by all the participants as well as a number of other states.

 

The agreement now faces a potentially tricky approval process in the US Congress, which Netanyahu controversially addressed in early March with a speech that warned against a “very bad deal with Iran.”

 

President Barack Obama on Tuesday vowed that he would veto any Congressional move to block the nuclear deal, setting the stage for a potentially protracted and heated political process over the agreement.

Assad and Khamenei. (AFP/STR)

We are quite assured that the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue, with greater momentum, supporting the just issues of peoples.