Iran’s parliament speaker Ali Larijani arrived in Damascus today and held a meeting with the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to discuss the on-going crisis in the country. Larijani will fly to Beirut and Ankara to discuss the Syrian crisis with his Lebanese and Turkish counterparts. (Fars News Agency, 23 November)
Assad is one of Iran’s closest allies and his overthrow by the opposition forces would weaken Iran’s position at a delicate moment during a major power shift in the region. Morsi’s ascendency to power in Cairo and his active role in ending the Gaza conflict could transform Hamas into an Egyptian ally at the expense of Iran, and the fall of Assad would weaken Hezbollah, the other major movement allied to Iran.