United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated that an end to the dictatorship of President Bashar Assad of Syuria will help cut ties to Iran. Panetta said that Syria was in an axis with Iran threatens stability of the region. He believes that the rioting in Syria will weakened the grip of Iran in the Middle East. He made the comments at a Senate hearing in Washington. Panetta added that he hoped more nations would join efforts to isolate Assad.