Syria, Iran Agree to Ditch Dollar in Bilateral Transactions

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Iran sealed economic and trade deals with Syria on Monday, as Damascus is looking to its allies to help with the reconstruction effort after its eight-year-long war.

Iran and Syria have agreed on measures that will allow bank transactions in their local currencies and non-dollar foreign currencies as the two countries have decided to deepen trade and investment relations.

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Damascus and Tehran signed 11 agreements, including a “long-term strategic economic cooperation deal”, which spans industry, trade and agriculture, on Monday.

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According to Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, who is currently in Syria with a delegation of trade officials, the deals included “very important agreements on banking cooperation”.

Addressing an Iranian-Syrian business forum in Damascus, Jahangiri stated that “ministers confirmed that banking transactions will take place very soon between the countries”.

Chairman of the Syrian Chambers of Commerce Mohamad Hamsho, for his part, stressed that the deals had been concluded to “overcome obstacles with respect to the banking activity” between Damascus and Tehran.

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Jahangiri noted that Iran would also help repair power stations across the Arab Republic and set up a new plant in the coastal province of Latakia.

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In addition, two memoranda of understanding (MOU) were inked between the railway authorities of the two countries, as well as between their investment promotion authorities.

During the ongoing crisis in Syria, Iran has been sending military advisers to the country to help fight terrorists at Damascus’s official request.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told the al-Alam News Network last June that Iran had no military bases in Syria, but if such a need occurred, “we will not hesitate”.

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