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Iranian defense minister. Strengthening ties
Photo: AP
Syria, Iran sign defense cooperation deal
Countries' ministers vow to strengthen security ties, join forces against 'Zionist threat'

Syrian Defense Minister Ali Muhammad Habib and his Iranian counterpart, Ahmad Vahidi, have signed a military cooperation agreement, Iranian media reported Friday. The two countries agreed to appoint a joint committee to oversee the agreement's implementation.

 

The deal was signed towards the end of the Iranian minister's visit to Syria. The two officials expressed their willingness to strengthen the military ties between the countries and noted that the cooperation would help expand the diplomatic, security and economic relations between Damascus and Tehran.

 

They vowed to join forces against the regional threat posed by "the Zionist regime", referring to Israel.

 

Vahidi met Wednesday with Syrian President Bashar Assad and discussed the military cooperation between the two countries with him as well. During the visit, the minister was quoted as saying that Iran would strike back at Israeli weapons manufacturing sites and nuclear installations if the Jewish state attacks the Islamic republic's nuclear facilities.

 

Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Shara estimated Thursday that Israel would not be able to attack Iran without the support of the United States.

 

Speaking to heads of the ruling Ba'ath Party, al-Shara said that US President Barack Obama has tried to "restrain" Israel in order to prevent a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.

 

"The Israelis, despite their (vast arsenal), were unable to force the Palestinian people in Gaza to surrender and wave the white flag," he stated.

 

In another expression of the tight relations between the two countries, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili visited Syria last week in a bid to strengthen the military ties between Tehran and Damascus. He also met with Hamas leaders in the Syrian capital.

 

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