Iran and Syria vowed on Sunday to take “mighty steps” to confront US sanctions imposed on the two countries, saying their relations will strengthen under Iran’s new leadership, according to The Associated Press.
The announcement was made by Iran’s new Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who was received at the airport a visit to Damascus by his Syrian counterpart, Faisal Mekdad.
“The leadership of the two countries will together take mighty steps to confront economic terrorism and reduce pressure on our people,” Amir-Abdollahian was quoted by AP as having said at the airport. He did not say how the two countries will fight the sanctions.
Amir-Abdollahian’s visit to Syria came a day after he represented Iran in a conference attended by officials from around the Middle East aimed at easing regional tensions.
The Iranian minister described Syria as the “land of resistance,” adding that Damascus and Tehran had worked together “on the ground and achieved joint victories.”
While Iranian leaders deny that the Islamic Republic has a military presence in Syria, Iran is a key supporter of the Assad regime in Syria, having providing the regime with both financial aid and military advisers against a range of opposing forces since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
Near the start of the Syrian civil war, it was reported that then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had personally sanctioned the dispatch of officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to fight alongside Assad’s troops.
Ali Akbar Velayati, a top aide to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made clear several years ago that Iran would withdraw its “military advisers” from Syria and Iraq only if their governments wanted it to.
Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, in 2019 boasted that his country had “accomplished more than 90 percent” of its goals in Syria.
Shamkhani also said that his country will keep working with Syria against “the Zionist regime of Israel”.