Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran visited Syria on Saturday and met with president Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.
The Islamic Republic News Agency, IRNA, reported that Amir-Abdollahian praised existing close relations and cooperation between Tehran and Damascus and said, “Conditions have shifted in Syria’s favor.”
Assad’s government has been isolated and sanctioned by Western and other countries since it began using military force against opponents after protests during the 2010 Arab Spring in the region.
Iran provided Assad with full military and substantial financial backing as the conflict turned into a civil war. Estimates say thousands of Iranian servicemen and Afghan and other proxy forces have been killed in Syria. Senior Iranian officials have said Iran has spent more that $30 to support Assad.
IRNA said that the Iranian foreign minister congratulated Assad for his government’s “military and international” successes and added that the diplomatic atmosphere as he witnessed during the United Nations General Assembly has shifted favor of Damascus.
Amir-Abdollahian also spoke about events in Afghanistan and said the US withdrawal shows the weakening of the Western axis.
Before arriving in Syria, Iran’s foreign minister visited Russia and Lebanon. Russia and Hezbollah in Lebanon are two other key allies of Assad.