Syria

    Syria's assistance to France in winning the release of an embassy employee on trial in Tehran signaled to the West that Damascus wants to help defuse tensions over Iran's post-election turmoil, analysts said Aug. 12. France earlier specifically thanked Syria, Iran's closest Arab ally, among countries that had "provided their support" to help free Nazak Afshar, a French-Iranian citizen who is a defendant in a mass trial of pro-reform opposition supporters accused of trying to mount a "soft" revolution in Iran. (AP)

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