The Assad regime and Iran signed a comprehensive agreement on military cooperation. The agreement stipulates the strengthening of military and security cooperation between the two sides, at the level of the armed forces and continued cooperation efforts.
The agreement was signed by Syrian Defense Minister Ali Abdullah Ayyoub and Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, during which the latter headed a military delegation to Damascus, according to the regime’s media reports.
During talks with Ayoub, Bagheri said that Iran will work to strengthen Syrian air defense systems within the framework of strengthening military relations between the two countries, adding that the signed agreement, “strengthens our will and our determination to cooperate [with the Syrian regime] in the face of American pressure.”
Defense Minister Ayoub said, “No matter how taxing steadfastness becomes, it would be less than what we would pay should we surrender and submit, and should the American administration be able to subjugate Syria, Iran, and the axis of resistance.”
It is noteworthy that the two sides had signed a similar agreement in August 2018, during a visit by the Iranian Minister of Defense, Amir Hatami, to Damascus, stipulating the strengthening of Syrian defense infrastructure in Syria and the rebuilding of the Syrian army.
The agreement comes after the Caesar Act went into force last month. The Act affects senior regime officials as well as the countries and parties supporting it, especially reconstruction efforts.
Commenting on the matter, Defense Minister Ayoub said that, “The Caesar Act uses livelihood and medicine and children to fight the Syrians and we seek to stand in the face of the consequences of this law.” He added, “Whoever is betting on sabotaging relations between Iran and Syria is delusional and they have to awake from their dreams.”
Iran, which is a supporter of the Assad regime, has worked in recent years to conclude economic and military agreements with the regime; agreements which some considered to be the regime paying the bills for the intervention of Russia and Iran, who tipped the scales in Syria’s favor.
The regime has also signed a long-term economic cooperation agreement with Iran affecting various economic fields. According to what was reported at the time by the regime’s media outlet, SANA, initials were used to sign the agreement on Jan. 30, 2018, between the Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Mohammad Samer al-Khalil, and the Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development, Mohammad Eslami.
The long-term cooperation agreement includes several economic sectors; most notably the banking, finance, construction, and reconstruction sectors. According to the regime’s Minister of Economy, the agreement will contribute greatly to facilitating trade between the Syrian regime and Iran, in addition to providing facilities for Iranian companies at the level of the reconstruction of Syria and investment on its soil.
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.