The Syrian-Iranian Business forum kicked off in Damascus on January 29th. Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis and Iran’s First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, who is heading a delegation currently visiting Syria, were in attendance.
Khamis said that Syrian-Iranian economic relations are witnessing remarkable developments, calling on Iranian economic activities to participate in the reconstruction of Syria.
In turn, Jahangiri said the visit of the Iranian delegation and its results affirm that the reconstruction stage has begun, calling on Iranian companies to participate actively in it.
On January 28th, Syria and Iran signed 11 agreements, memos of understanding and executive programs to enhance cooperation between them in the economic, cultural, scientific, infrastructure, service, investment, and housing fields.
The agreements were concluded during the 14th session of the Syrian-Iranian Higher Committee.
On the 29th, Damascus University and Iranian Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic) signed a memo of understanding for technical and technological cooperation that aims at enhancing scientific and technological experiences and benefiting from research centers to upgrade the scientific level of both universities.
On the same day, the foundation stone for the project of an electrical power plant in Lattakia was laid. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Electricity Minister Mohammad Zuhair Kharboutli and Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian were present.
The Iranian Energy Minister said that the electrical power plant is the first project of several development projects to be carried out by Iran in Syria in the reconstruction stage, pointing out that Iranian engineering companies are ready for implementing other projects within the strategic agreement between the two countries.
Kharboutli said that the facility will be commissioned in 3 years, praising the positive effect it will have on the electricity situation in Syria and in the coastal region in particular.
Another agreement that was signed is between Syria’s Central Bank and Iran’s Central Bank with the aim of boosting cooperation and coordination between the two institutions.
“The agreement aims at serving stabilization of the banking sector and enhancing it and facilitating trade exchange and encouraging investment as well as boosting economic relations in light of the current circumstances,” Syrian SANA reported.
The agreements further included two memos of understanding between the railway authorities of the two countries as well as between their respective investment promotion authorities.
The rehabilitation of the ports of Tartus and Lattakia was also agreed on.
In addition there were “dozens of projects in the oil sector and agriculture”, Syrian Prime Minister Khamis said.
In August 2018, Syria and Iran signed a military co-operation agreement. Reportedly, Tehran has supported Damascus economically during the conflict through oil deliveries and several lines of credit.
During the meeting the Iranian First Vice President also praised the anti-terror campaign by Syria in the region and claimed that the Islamic Republic is “honored to be spearheading the anti-terror campaign.”
“Iran’s vice president expressed hope that terrorists would be completely eliminated in the Middle East and said, “The international community and the Europeans should know that if it were not for the sacrifices of the Syrian government and people as well as the country’s allies, Daesh [ISIS] terrorists … would establish a government in the region and would turn into a big and insolvable problem for global security.”
Jahangiri vowed as early as June 2018 that the Islamic Republic would stand by Syria in the reconstruction projects of the war-stricken country.
“As the Iranian government and nation stood by the Syrian government and people in the fight against terrorist groups, they will also stand by the Syrian people now that major parts of Syria are under the control of the country’s government,” Jahangiri said in a meeting with Syrian Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Mohammad Samer al-Khalil in Tehran on June 19, 2018.