* Official's comments among most supportive for Assad so far
* Iran seen seeking to defend its own regional influence
DUBAI, Sept 29 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
will defeat an uprising against him, scoring a victory over the
United States and its allies in a move that will also represent
a triumph for Iran, an advisor to Iran's supreme leader was
quoted as saying on Saturday.
Tehran has backed Assad's efforts to suppress a rebellion
that has drawn in regional players, with the Islamic state
accusing Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey of arming rebels
fighting to topple the Syrian leader.
Shi'ite-ruled Iran has tried to counter a perceived drive by
Western and U.S.-aligned Sunni Muslim nations to roll back its
own power in the Middle East and fears that success for the
Sunni-led uprising in Syria could have grave implications for
The comments by Ali Akbar Velayati, foreign policy advisor
to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, were some of
Tehran's most supportive for Assad so far and came as the United
States and France announced greater support for Syrian rebels on
Iran counts Assad as part of an "axis of resistance," along
with Islamist group Hezbollah, against Israeli and U.S.
influence in the Middle East.
"The victory of the government of Syria against internal
opponents, America, and their other Western and Arab supporters,
is counted as a victory of the Islamic Republic of Iran,"
Velayati said, according to state news agency IRNA.
"The victory of the Syrian government is certain," he added,
saying that recent attacks would not weaken the Syrian
"The Syrian government's position has stabilised, and some
... explosions and assassinations cannot bring down the regime."
Two explosions targeted one of Syria's top military command
buildings in the capital Damascus on Wednesday, and a bomb
attack in the Syrian capital on July 18 killed several top
Western countries and Syrian opposition groups have long
suspected Iran of aiding Assad militarily, a charge Iran has
denied though the commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary
Guard Corps said earlier this month that its members provide
non-military assistance to Syria.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday that
Iran will stop at nothing to protect Syria.
A Western intelligence report seen by Reuters said that Iran
has been using civilian aircraft to fly military personnel and
large quantities of weapons across Iraqi airspace into Syria to
Iraq denied it was allowing its air or land space to be used
for such purposes.