Iran's foreign minister is reiterating its support for Syria while saying President Bashar Assad should answer the legitimate demands of his people.
Ali Akbar Salehi's statement was the first since Iran named a new ambassador to Syria last week. The statement did not diverge from previous statements by top Iranian officials.
The semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Salehi as saying a political vacuum in Syria would lead to an unprecedented regional crisis, and blaming protests and killings on outside agitators. Iran, Damascus' chief ally, has blamed the U.S. and Israel for instigating protests in Syria. The U.S. and other nations have accused Iran of helping Assad crush the 5-month-old uprising.