20:04 GMT21 October 2020
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    Commenting on the number of important deals recently signed between Syria and its regional neighbor Iran on the post-war reconstruction of the war-torn country, the current advisor to Iran's foreign minister, Hossein Sheikholeslam, told Sputnik what helped Tehran become among the first to help its neighbor.

    Iran and Syria signed several agreements during a visit of Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis to Tehran earlier this week.

    Imad Khamis and Iranian Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri oversaw the signing of five memoranda of understanding in Tehran on Tuesday to expand economic relations, the Iranian news agency IRNA reported.

    Under the deals, Syria will grant a license to Iran to operate the Arab country’s third mobile service provider and allow the Islamic Republic to set up a petrol terminal on 5,000 hectares of land, the report said.

    Syria will also give Iran 5,000 hectares of farmland and commission the operation of phosphate mines in Sharqiya and a port in the Arab country for use by Iranian companies.

    Commenting on the signed agreements, Hossein Sheikholeslam, an Iranian politician and the current advisor to the country's foreign minister, told Sputnik that his home country has been always ready to grant support to Syria in order to restore its economy.

    "There is no doubt that Syria is in need of large-scale reconstruction and the provision of amenities," the Iranian politician told Sputnik.

    "The consequences of the crimes and destruction committed by the terrorists appeal to us to unite and support Syria in the reconstruction of the country," he added.

    "Taking into account the long-term close relationship between Iran and the Syrian authorities, Iran was able to actively enter into the reconstruction process," the politician said.

    Hossein Sheikholeslam further elaborated that after a permanent ceasefire is agreed upon, the implementation of these agreements will become the first economic aid package rendered by Iran to Syria.

    "We hope that other countries will be able to take part in this constructive and important process. Besides, Iran has long-term prospects for cooperation with its neighbor, particularly in terms of trade and economics," he added.

    Meanwhile Mohammad Ali Mokhtadi, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies told Sputnik that the signed memoranda are of a complex character.

    "As we know, the war has been raging in Syria for almost 6 years already, along with the fight against terrorism, which has been embedded there by the coalition of 82 countries with the aim of topping the president and the government of this country," he told Sputnik.

    "This 6-year-long stand-off has had a major impact on the military, social and humanitarian industries," he added.

    The expert further explained that Syria has experienced colossal losses and expenses in withstanding the plan to annihilate the Syrian government being pursued and orchestrated by the US, Israel and some Arab countries.

    The economy of the country has been destroyed. The Syrian national currency has been devalued to a record low level. Hence the top priority task is to rebuild the country and its military-defense sector.

    The signed agreements, the expert said, are aimed at providing short-term and long-term aid to the country's economy. However, they grant considerable benefits to Iranian businesses as well.

    Mohammad Ali Mokhtadi has also pointed out at another important factor: the military, social, cultural and economic spheres have closely intertwined in Syrian and are now closely interconnected. And thanks to the active aid coming from Iran, Russia and other true allies of Syria, any of the above spheres the country was able to withstand in this war.

    However the trip of the country's prime minister to Tehran is still more of an economic character, he finally stated.

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    aid, economy, reconstruction, Syrian ceasefire, Syrian conflict, Mohammad Ali Mokhtadi, Hossein Sheikholeslam, Imad Khamis, Iran, Syria
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