Iran, Syria Vow United Front to Thwart U.S. and Israel

Iran and Syria will form an alliance against what they referred to as U.S. and Israeli conspiracies against the Islamic world, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday, after meeting Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Ahmadinejad said Israel's defeat in last year's war in Lebanon and the failure of the American occupation in Iraq are "clear signs of the growing weakness of the United States and Zionism."

Iran's ISNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying that what the U.S. really aims for, under the pretext of development in the region, "is just another effort to strengthen its own status and that of the Zionists."

Assad arrived in Tehran yesterday for a two-day visit to discuss developments in the Middle East. This is his second visit since Ahmadinejad was elected president in the summer of 2005.

Assad also met former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and was scheduled to meet Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Chief Nuclear Negotiator Ali Larijani. The agenda for the talks will deal with Iraq, Lebanon and cooperation with the Palestinians.

Ahmadinejad said earlier yesterday that Lebanon and Hezbollah have his complete support in their struggle against Israel and the United States.

"Iran and Lebanon are two parts of the same body, and only through cooperation between our two nations will it be possible to foil the conspiracies of the enemy," Ahmadinejad said.

"Thanks to Hezbollah, the Lebanese people have become a symbol of courage, faith and respect for all nations, and all this through the power of resistance," he added.