Syrian president holds talks with ally Iran expected to focus on international sanctions, IraqBy AP
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Syrian leader holds talks with close ally Iran
TEHRAN, Iran — Syrian President Bashar Assad is in Iran for talks that are likely to include the effect of international sanctions on Tehran and the political struggles in neighboring Iraq.
Syria and Iran wield considerable influence in Iraq among different groups — Syria with Sunnis and Iran among Shiites. Iraq has been locked in political stalemate since March elections, but Shiite groups now appear to have the edge.
Iranian state TV says Assad moved into discussions with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after arriving Saturday.
Iran’s official IRNA news agency says Assad will be awarded the country’s highest national medal for his support to Palestinian militants and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
(This version CORRECTS country to Iran in second paragraph).)