Aug. 7 - Iran's Saeed Jalili is shown on Syrian TV meeting President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION) Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with Iran's Supreme National Security Council secretary, Saeed Jalili, on Tuesday (August 7), as rebels said they held a group of Iranian hostages. Damascus' state-run television showed footage of the meeting but gave no further details. Iran's IRIB said Jalili was also scheduled to meet Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmad Arnous, and planned to hold a press conference at Iran's embassy in Damascus on Tuesday. Jalili acts as the representative of Iran's ultimate authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and is also Iran's chief negotiator in Tehran's dispute with Western powers over its nuclear programme. Iran has expressed worry about the fate of more than 40 Iranians it says are religious pilgrims kidnapped by rebels off a bus in Damascus while visiting Shi'ite shrines. The rebels say they suspect the captives were troops sent to help Assad.