Muslimpress:A senior adviser to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ali Akbar Velayati, has said protecting the government of Syrian President Bashar al - Assad is Iran’s “red line”. Iran is well aware that Assad is defending his country’s territorial integrity and the Syrian people, Velayati said in an interview published on Sunday. He also said it has been proved to the Western countries that Iran has been playing a “fundamental” role in supporting the Syrian government. Velayti, a former foreign minister who is currently the chairman of the Strategic Research Committee of the Expediency Council, added that the crisis in Syria can only be settled politically and this cannot be achieved without Iran’s involvement. Commenting on Russia’s attacks on the terrorist positions in Syria, Velayati said Russia’s action is “important” and “strategic”. He added that Russia took the action based on a request by the “legitimate” government of Syria. This is while the latest news from Syria shows that Assad’s forces have gained more ground after Russian air strikes.