Iranian defense minister: Syria remains a strategic ally of Iran

Following a week of dramatic developments in which Israel and Syria announced the renewal of dormant peace talks, Iran's defense minister expressed confidence on Sunday that negotiations would not hamper the strong alliance between Teheran and Damascus, the Iranian FARS news agency reported. Labeling Syria a strategic ally of Iran, Defense Minister Mustafa Mohammed Nejad called on "Islamic states to strengthen their relations in order to defend themselves against the dangers which threaten the region."