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Iran has duty to support Assad, intelligence official says

An Iranian lawmaker said a legislative committee would visit Syria to strengthen bilateral relations and consult Syrian officials, the state news agency IRNA reported.

"We all have a responsibility to support Syria and not allow the line of resistance to be broken," Fars news agency quoted Hossein Taeb, the intelligence unit head, as saying.

Iran has supported Assad in the face of international condemnation over his crackdown on the uprising against his family's four-decade rule, considering his government part of an anti-Western front that also includes Lebanon's Hezbollah.

Tehran has also accused Western powers and countries in the region, including Turkey and Qatar, of supporting the rebels in an effort to overthrow Assad.

A parliamentary committee from Iran will visit Syria for two days soon to strengthen bilateral relations and consult the speaker of parliament and other officials, IRNA quoted Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Iranian parliament's national security and foreign policy committee, as saying.

Boroujerdi said the Non-Aligned Movement summit, bringing together 120 developing nations and starting on Sunday in Tehran, offered a good chance to discuss the Syrian crisis.

"This summit is a very good opportunity for member states of this movement to take a decision on the issue in this that the crisis would be solved soon."

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