Iran, Syria forge economic and trade deals

Iran will also help repair power stations across Syria and set up a new plant in the coastal province of Latakia, said Iranian Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri.
Tuesday 29/01/2019
Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, speaks with Iran's first Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, left, in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (AP)
Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, speaks with Iran's first Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, left, in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (AP)

CAIRO - Iran struck economic and trade deals with Syria on Monday, deepening its involvement there after helping Syrian President Bashar Assad reclaim most of the country.

The deals included “very important agreements on banking cooperation," said Iranian Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri in the Syrian capital Damascus.

Iran will also help repair power stations across Syria and set up a new plant in the coastal province of Latakia, he added.

During Syria’s eight-year conflict, Tehran has dispatched forces and allied Shia militias, including Hezbollah, to provide Damascus with vital military support. Experts say Tehran is now looking to reap a financial dividend.

Shunned by Western powers, the Syrian government has looked to friendly states such as Iran, Russia and China to play a major role in rebuilding the country.

Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis said Syria and Iran signed a “unique” agreement on Monday for long-term economic cooperation which includes industry, trade and agriculture.

The two countries signed several memorandums of understanding during Jahangiri’s visit to Damascus, which Khamis described as “historic.” Officials said they covered education, housing, public works, railways, investment, and other fields, without providing further details.

(Reuters)