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FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS Iran Backs al-Assad Ahmad Gharabli, AFP / Getty Images

Iran Backs al-Assad

Beleaguered Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appeared on television with a senior Iranian official Tuesday, as Iran threw its support behind his government. “Iran will not allow the axis of resistance, of which it considers Syria to be an essential part, to be broken in any way," said Saeed Jalili, the head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. “Axis of resistance” is a club term for the two Shi'ite nations’ anti-Israel crusade. The endorsement comes at a helpful time for Assad, as his troops move on the city of Aleppo with massive firepower, trying to drive out rebel forces. Iran says it may provide humanitarian aid to Syria; the rebels say they’re low on ammunition, with government forces closing in on both sides.

August 7, 2012 5:36 PM