A top Iranian official close to the country's powerful Supreme Leader today said any attack on Iran ally Syria would be seen as an attack on the Islamic Republic itself, reported Reuters.
"Syria has a very basic and key role in the region for promoting firm policies of resistance," Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency cited Ali Akbar Velayati as saying today, according to Reuters.
"For this same reason, [an] attack on Syria is considered [an] attack on Iran and Iran’s allies," The Associated Press quoted Velayati as later saying.
AP also said the comments mark some of Iran's strongest language yet on Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad, an Iran loyalist, has fighting an armed uprising against his rule for over a year in violence believed to have taken some 60,000 lives.
International efforts to resolve the crisis in Syria have not been successful.