Iran has appointed a new ambassador to Syria to replace Ahmad Moussavi, who resigned due to the increasing protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has named Mohammedreza Raouf Sheybani to replace Moussavi. Sheybani was previously deputy of the Middle East department at the Foreign Ministry.

Moussavi had also been vice-president of legal affairs for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iran’s opposition website Kaleme has quoted a Syrian diplomat as saying that Iranian embassy staff have vacated their homes in Damascus and sent their families back to Iran fearing the Al-Assad regime’s imminent collapse.

Iran’s support of Al-Assad has provoked Syrian anger at Iranians living in Syria.