BEIRUT - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Tuesday he was confident his top regional ally Iran would step up its efforts to back "just causes", suggesting he expects more backing from Tehran in his fight against insurgents after a nuclear deal.
Shi'ite power Iran has provided crucial financial and diplomatic support for Assad and has sent military advisers to Syria while backing fighters from Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah and other militiamen involved in the conflict.
"We are confident that the Islamic Republic of Iran will support, with greater drive, just causes of nations and work for peace and stability in the region and the world," Assad said in a congratulatory message to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei published by state news agency SANA.
Assad also called the atomic agreement sealed in Vienna a"major turning point" in the history of Iran, the region and the world.
"The coming days will see momentum in the constructive role played by the Islamic Republic of Iran in supporting for the rights of people and the laying of the foundation stones for amiable relations between nations for the good of humanity," Assad said in a separate message to Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, according to SANA.