Syrian president visits Iran on same day Iran’s foreign minister abruptly resigns

Syrian President Bashar Assad shakes hands with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei before their meeting in Tehran on Monday. Credit: AP

Tehran: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has made his first public visit to his closest regional ally Iran since the start of Syria’s war in 2011 on the same day that Iran’s foreign minister suddenly resigned from his post.

Assad met Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran on Monday, with Syrian and Iranian state television showing footage of the two men smiling and embracing.

Syrian President Bashar Assad shakes hands with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei before their meeting in Tehran on Monday.

Assad regained the upper hand in Syria’s war with the help of Russian air power, Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces, retaking all key population centres from rebels and militants backed variously by some Western powers and Gulf Arabs. The insurgency against his rule is now seen to have collapsed.

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