Iran briefs ally Syria on int'l standoff over its nuclear program

Iran's foreign minister on Thursday briefed Syria's president on the international standoff over his country's nuclear program. The meeting in Damascus signaled Syria's willingness to act on a request by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to try to help resolve the crisis by pushing Iran to cooperate with the international community. Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, welcomed a Syrian role in trying to ease the tension, Syria's official SANA news agency reported. Speaking at a news conference, he added that Iran has always kept the Syrians informed of developments in the standoff with the United States and its European allies. Sarkozy met with Syrian President Bashar Assad at a summit of European nations and other countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea last weekend in Paris. The French president asked Assad to step in and persuade Iran to offer proof that it has no intention of developing nuclear weapons.