The head of the Iranian Central Bank, Abdolnaser Hemmati, said that his country and the Bashar al-Assad regime were heading towards a license to establish a joint bank that will be based in the Syrian capital.
On Tuesday, Hemmati added in statements on Instagram that the bank would lead the banking brokering relationship between the two countries.
Since last November, US sanctions that have prevented Iranian banks from using the SWIFT system to conduct transfers in dollars across the world.
The Central Bank and licensed banking institutions in Iran suffer from an inability to store foreign currency, which has reinvigorated the parallel (black) market.
Hemmati continued, “Based on the agreement with the head of the Syrian Central Bank, the central banks of both sides will begin banking exchange based on the national currencies of the two countries and provide the ability to use banking cards between Tehran and Damascus.”
On Monday evening, the Bashar al-Assad regime signed a “long-term” economic cooperation agreement that included a number of sectors, most prominently oil, electricity, agriculture, and the banking sector, in another sign of Iran’s growing dominance over the Syrian economy.
The Assad regime Prime Minister, Imad Khamis, described the deal as, “a truly historic stage of a new, developed and qualitative cooperation, compared to what came before.”
The agreements which Khamis discussed included the inauguration of, “two important ports in Tartous and in part of the Lattakia port, as well as laying the foundation for an electricity plant with a power capacity of 540 megawatts… and dozens of projects in the oil sector, the agricultural development sector, and building oil storage.”
They also agreed to establish a “joint chamber of commerce” between Iran and the Assad regime, as well as another agreement to open a permanent showroom for Iranian goods in Syria.
Khamis said that the Assad regime was serious about giving major facilitations to Iran in the private and public sector, to help them invest in Syria and for “true and effective reconstruction.” He added that there were legislative facilitations, “administrative measures, as well as the executive process,” that would be offered to the Iranians.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.