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Iran commander: West opposes Assad over Israel

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September 14, 2013 07:38 AM EST | AP

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TEHRAN, Iran — The head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's elite Quds Force says the West's hostility toward the Syrian government comes over Israel.

A state television report broadcast Saturday quoted Gen. Ghassem Soleimani as saying his country's support of Syria secures "Iran's real national interests." Iran considers Syria and Lebanon's Hezbollah – as well as Palestinian militant groups – as part of a "resistance axis" against Israel.

Soleimani said the West knows that a "powerful position of resistance relies on Syria." Last week, Soleimani promised that Iran would support Syria "until the end."

Soleimani's Quds Force oversees the international operations of the Guard.

Iran unwaveringly has supported the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. It considers Syrian civil war as a crisis instigated by Israel, the West and others.