The Minister of Internal Trade in the regime’s government, Amr Salem, decided to dismiss Sami al-Khatib, vice president of the Syrian-Iranian Chamber of Commerce and a member of its board of directors, from his position. A website affiliated with the regime quotes Khatib saying that the decision was due to Facebook posts. He considered the decision against him “economic terrorism.”
He added, “since when was the difference of opinion in economic decisions considered defamation and slander?”. He believed that such actions would exclude anyone who disagrees with the prevailing opinion, which harms Syrian exports at a time when we are in dire need of foreign exchange, he said.
Khatib noted that he has strong business ties with Iranian economic actors that are decades old, adding: “When I criticize a decision, I try to aim based on a long experience in commercial business, not just for theory”.
According to the decision, Khatib’s publications vilified some government decisions and the Economic Committee, in which he did not appreciate the economic conditions of the country or the public interest, and was concerned with personal interest.
The decision also included an accusation of Khatib using the method of mocking his fellow traders with comments that did not fit his representative status as Vice-President of the Chamber. This comes in addition to his inappropriate behaviors that appeared in several previous meetings, whether in the Chamber’s board of directors or official meetings.
For his part, the president of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce wrote to the Minister of Interior Trade, to remove the membership of Khatib. The president of the union considered that his publications did not fit the sensitivity of the situation. He stated that Khatib is also the chairman of the Olive Oil Council in regime-controlled areas, has several pictures with Iranian officials, and frequently visits the mausoleum of criminal Hafez al-Assad.
This article was 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.