Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says repeated threats by Israel and its allies indicate Syria's leading role in tightening security in the region, Press TV reported.
"No country in the region would be safe from the atrocities of the Zionist regime [of Israel] in the absence of the Syrian government and nation's altruism," said Ahmadinejad on Saturday in a ceremony to award his Syrian counterpart
Bashar al-Assad with Iran's highest national medal.
He added that the Syrian government and nation have for years stood against the "extremism and aggression" of Israel and "arrogant powers".
He expressed Iran's support for all "justice-seeking" nations in the world, saying, "Iran stands by Syria,
Lebanon and Palestine and endorses the oppressed people of the region and across the globe."
Ahmadinejad pointed to the amicable relations between Tehran and Damascus and said that "ties between the two countries can play a leading role in promoting peace and stability in the region."
He called for efforts to further expand relations in the fields of tourism, trade and investment.
The Iranian president said the Grand National Order of the Islamic Republic of Iran is presented to Assad for his resistance against "arrogant powers", defense of the rights of the Palestinian and Lebanese nations, his key role in the stability and tranquility of regional countries and great efforts to strengthen brotherly Iran-Syria ties.
The Syrian president arrived in Tehran on Saturday for official talks with senior Iranian officials on the latest regional and international developments.