Iran's Khamenei meeting Syria's Assad in Tehran on May 30, 2024

Iran's Khamenei Hosts Syria's Assad Amid Criticism of Foreign Policy

Thursday, 05/30/2024

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei received his Syrian ally President Bashar al-Assad in Tehran on Thursday.

The visit comes shortly after the unexpected death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash. Assad’s visit is reportedly to offer condolences, reflecting the deep political and military alliance, criticized by many Iranians and Western governments.

Iran's semi-official Student News Network reported that Khamenei used the opportunity to assert that Western nations and their regional allies “failed” in their attempts to destabilize Syria’s government. 

His remarks come amid widespread criticism of Iran's role in the Syrian civil war, which led to extensive human suffering and regional instability.

Assad was absent from Raisi’s funeral, with the country’s envoy to Tehran citing personal reasons for his absence, raising questions about the Syrian leader's commitment to his Iranian allies. 

Iran has played a controversial role in the Syrian civil war, aligning itself with President Bashar al-Assad's regime against various opposition groups since the conflict began in 2011. 

Tehran has provided substantial military support, including advisors, ground troops, and militia fighters from across the region, affecting the war's dynamics. 

Iranian forces and militias are still in Syria, posing a threat to Israel that regularly launches air strikes against them.

Iran's involvement in Syria has been criticized internationally for perpetuating the conflict and contributing to the region's destabilization and countless deaths and widespread displacement. 

Economically, the intervention has drained Iranian resources, contributing to domestic discontent amidst a struggling economy exacerbated by international sanctions. 

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