Iran and Syria tightened their close relations and voiced support for the Palestinian Intifada, or uprising against Israel, in a two-day visit to Tehran by Syrian Prime Minister Mohammed Moustapha Miro that finished Thursday.
"The continuation and strengthening of cooperation between Iran and Syria will play a major role in the certain victory of the Intifada and the liberation of occupied land," Miro said before leaving.
"Relations between our two countries are deep and friendly, and (Syrian) President Bashar al-Assad considers the strengthening of these links to be highly important."
"We share views on US threats and a feeling of victory with regard to Lebanon," he added, referring to Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May after a 22-year occupation, following a guerrilla war spearheaded by the Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hizbollah movement.
Iranian leaders voiced similar sentiments, with President Mohammad Kahatami calling Syria "the spearhead of the struggle against the greatest enemy of the Arab and Islamic world," in reference to Israel.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Thursday that Israel's elimination was a certainty.
"The Zionist regime which is massacring (the Palestinians) has never been in such difficulties before," he claimed.
"Cooperation between Syria and Iran (...) is essential and Iran will support Syria whatever happens," Khamenei added.
Khaled Raad, the Syrian deputy prime minister for economic affairs, told AFP Miro's visit had confirmed the two countries' special relationship and identical views on the Palestinian question and regional problems.
It also strengthened economic relations, which were lagging behind the political ties, with trade worth only some 20 million dollars a year, he added.
Agreements covering transport, oil technology, industry and trade were signed by Miro and Iran's First Vice President Hassan Habibi – TEHRAN (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)