Exclusive: An Iranian diplomat made a sudden appearance in Damascus on Monday, July 16, demanding that the Syrian ruler Bashar Assad explain his interaction with anti-Iran elements, DEBKAfile reveals. The envoy, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, assistant speaker for international affairs at Iran’s Shura Council, upon taxing the Syrian president, heard him underline his country’s support for Iran against “US threats.” Iranian and Syrian sources describe Assad as reaffirming this commitment during their meeting. According to the official statement, they also discussed Iran’s nuclear program and the steps the regime in Tehran has taken “to protect the interests of the Iranian people.”
Our intelligence sources note the unusual features of this event and of the statements dictated by the Iranian side:
- Tehran broke conspicuously with custom and protocol by sending a low-ranking diplomat to Damascus with a demand for him to be received on the spot by the Syrian president. This denotes a serious falling-out between Tehran and Damascus.
- The emissary demanded a pledge by Assad to continue to oppose the United States, while omitting to mention any Middle East entity. Why the Syrian ruler need to reaffirm this? Has he changed his attitude towards Washington and the Trump administration?
- Since when does a low-ranking Iranian diplomat engage in a discussion with the Syrian ruler on Iran’s nuclear program and its steps for “protecting the people?”
Answers are provided in the coming issue of DEBKA Weekly (for subscribers) out on Friday, July 19. They are based on exclusive information revealing that Bashar Assad has entered into secret negotiations behind Iran’s back with one of its most implacable enemies. Don’t miss this unique disclosure. If you are not already a subscriber, click here to sign on.