Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the United States is "pleased" with the crises faced by Middle Eastern states, in a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem in Tehran on Thursday, PressTV reported.

Ahmadinejad warned Middle Eastern states against schemes by "enemies of humanity," referring to the United States and "the colonial powers," according to the report.

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In the meeting, the Syrian foreign minister praised Iran's role in the region. "Syria is of the opinion that Iran, as a major regional power, has a key role to play in aiding other regional nations," Muallem said.


The Syrian foreign minister's visit to Tehran came a day after Iran recalled its ambassador to Bahrain in protest against the killing of a number of anti-government demonstrators in the country.

Quoting the Syrian semi-official newspaper Al-Watan, DPA reported that Muallem would meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and other officials for talks on developments in the island kingdom.

On Wednesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized the use of Gulf Cooperation Council troops to quell the uprising in Bahrain.

“The military confrontation against the people of Bahrain is a very ugly move and eventually doomed to fail,” Ahmadinejad said.

A day earlier, Bahrain recalled its ambassador to Tehran after the Iranian Foreign Ministry objected to the deployment of the Gulf troops, which came at the Bahraini government’s request.

Like Iran, Bahrain is predominantly Shi’ite, though the island kingdom is ruled by Sunni Muslims. Syria represents the opposite configuration, in which a minority Shi’ite clique rules over a Sunni minority.

Iran’s official English-language service Press TV reported that Muallem was visiting Tehran to convey a personal message from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah.

“Iran and Syria, which share a common position on many regional and international issues, have made great efforts to improve bilateral relations during recent years,” Press TV reported.

The Iranian news agency noted that top Iranian and Syrian diplomats had held talks in the Syrian capital in late January, and the Syrian prime minister had traveled to Iran early this month in a bid to improve already strong bilateral ties.

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