Syrian President Bashar al-Assad travelled to Iran on an official visit. Apart from his previous trip to Russia, this is the first trip President Assad has made abroad since the aggression against Syria started in 2011. ‎

Contrary to what the Western Press are making out, relations between Syria and Iran are particularly complicated due to Iran’s bi-cephalous political system. The Guide of the Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, supports the Syrian Arab Republic, in the context of the anti-imperialist policy of Imam Khomeiny, whereas Iran’s President, Sheikh Hassan Rohani, was elected on the pledge that he would only support the Syrian Shiite communities and not the whole country. ‎

The General of Division, Ghassem Soleimani, Commander of the Force al-Quds of the Guardians of the Revolution, participated in the meeting between President Assad and the Guide of the Revolution, Ali ‎Khamenei. During the first years of the aggression against Syria, the Guardians of the Revolution (not to be confused with Iran’s regular army, which is accountable to President Rohani) lost several thousands men because they worked with the Syrian Army to face the war together.

For his part, President Rohani, welcomed President Assad as a “Arab hero”. This was his polite way of saying to Assad, “Back off – you are Arab and not Persian”.

During President Assad’s visit, it was announced that the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Javad Zarif, would be resigning.‎

Anoosha Boralessa