New evidence has emerged of Iranian efforts to aid the beleaguered regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. U.S. officials say Iran is covertly importing Syrian crude oil, selling it on the international market, then returning the proceeds to Syria, in violation of international sanctions. Russia, meanwhile, remains committed to arming al-Assad as he continues a crackdown on local opposition that has left thousands dead. A Russian ship carrying four containers of munitions was stopped in Cyprus last month before continuing on to the Syrian port of Tartus. Russia and Iran have traditionally been two of Syria’s strongest allies.