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Most Prominent Agreements Signed Between Syria and Iran Under Raisi

President Ebrahim Raisi embarked on an official visit to Syria, marking the first such visit by an Iranian president since the onset of the Syrian war.
Most Prominent Agreements Signed Between Syria and Iran Under Raisi

During Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s tenure (2021-2024), Iranian-Syrian relations underwent significant developments, marked by the signing of numerous military, service, and economic agreements alongside the activation of various Syrian diplomatic initiatives.

On May 3, 2023, President Ebrahim Raisi embarked on an official visit to Syria, marking the first such visit by an Iranian president since the onset of the Syrian war. During this historic visit, President Raisi signed 15 memorandums of understanding spanning diverse sectors including economy, defence, and trade.

The memorandums encompassed cooperation in agriculture, railway infrastructure, research pertaining to mutual recognition of maritime certificates, the establishment of free zones, and collaboration in the oil sector. Noteworthy agreements included a memorandum of understanding between Syria’s National Seismological Center and Iran’s International Institute of Seismic Engineering, underscoring joint efforts in earthquake monitoring and response. Additionally, agreements were reached for cooperation in communications and information technology, as well as the convening of civil aviation meetings between Syria and Iran, facilitating enhanced connectivity and collaboration in aviation matters.

At the Defense Level: 

On February 22, 2023, Reuters reported statements from Iranian sources indicating Tehran’s provision of hundreds of Fateh-11 ballistic missiles to Moscow. The report specified that approximately 400 missiles, including various short-range ballistic missiles from the Fateh-110 series like the  Zolfaghar missile, were provided. An Iranian official candidly informed Reuters of additional forthcoming shipments, asserting Iran’s prerogative to export weapons to any desired destination.

In early April 2023, Brigadier General Hamza Qalandari, Assistant for International Affairs at the Iranian Ministry of Defense, affirmed Tehran’s readiness to assist Syria in bolstering its air defence capabilities against Israeli airstrikes. Tasnim news agency disclosed plans for Syria to acquire Khordad 15 missiles from Iran.

On May 8, 2023, Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani reiterated Iran’s readiness to supply Syria with cutting-edge defense weaponry. Subsequently, on May 10, 2023, Defense Minister Ashtiani and Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Mohammad Bagheri, convened with Syrian Armed Forces Chief of the General Staff, Abdul Karim Mahmoud Ibrahim, in Tehran.

During the meeting, Bagheri and the Syrian official deliberated on post-war reconstruction efforts for the Syrian army, bilateral exchange of military expertise, and training provisions across various levels. Bagheri emphasized the continuity of military cooperation between Iran and Syria.

At the political level: 

During the tenure of President Ebrahim Raisi and Hossein Amir Abdollahian as Iranian Foreign Minister, a political rapprochement unfolded, notably highlighted by key events such as the targeting of the Iranian consulate building in Damascus on April 1, 2024. Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad promptly reached out to Abdollahian, expressing Syria’s condemnation of the attack and affirming their support for Iran during this challenging period.

On April 8, 2024, Abdollahian presided over the inauguration of a new Iranian consulate building in Damascus following discussions with Mekdad and President Assad.

In response to the al-Aqsa Flood events, Abdollahian undertook three visits to Damascus, engaging in discussions with his counterpart Mekdad and President Bashar al-Assad to address regional developments, including the targeting of the Iranian consulate.

In July 2021, Abdollahian articulated Iran’s intention to foster closer ties between Syria and Turkey. This initiative led to a tripartite summit in Tehran involving Turkey, Russia, and Iran. Subsequent meetings between defence and foreign ministers from Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Russia aimed to advance this agenda but encountered obstacles due to stalled negotiations between Syrian and Turkish counterparts, resulting in a state of deadlock.

In terms of trade and services:   

On May 8, 2022, during a visit to Iran, President Bashar al-Assad signed a new phase of the “Iranian-Syrian credit line.” The official SANA news agency quoted sources accompanying President Assad’s visit, indicating that this new phase aims to ensure the supply of energy and other essential materials to address shortages in Syria.

During a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Mekdad in Tehran on July 31, 2023, Abdollahian confirmed an agreement for commercial transactions to be conducted using the national currencies of both countries.

In January 2024, the Iranian Ambassador to Damascus, Hussein Akbari, revealed to Athr Press the involvement of several Iranian companies in Syrian electrical infrastructure projects. Notably, two power groups in Aleppo with a capacity of 200 megawatts each were inaugurated, and the Tishreen station in Lattakia, with a capacity of 185 megawatts, underwent rehabilitation.

On the 14th of the same month, Musan Nahas, secretary of the Syrian-Iranian Chamber of Commerce, disclosed the establishment of a joint Syrian-Iranian insurance company. This move aims to facilitate trade by conducting transactions in the local currencies of both nations, overseen by the Syrian-Iranian Joint Central.

Further strengthening economic ties, on March 4, 2024, the Central Bank of Iran granted final approval for the establishment of a joint bank with Syria, as revealed by the secretary of the Syrian-Iranian Chamber of Commerce to Athr Press.

On May 2, 2024, Fahd Darwish, head of the Syrian-Iranian Joint Chamber, elaborated on an agreement with the director of the Iranian Specialized Cancer Hospital to admit Syrian patients with incurable cancer diseases for treatment within the hospital.

Raisi, Abdollahian, and their delegation perished in a helicopter crash in East Azerbaijani airspace. On Monday, numerous countries declared mourning for their loss.

 

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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