Assad regime and Iranian economic delegations meet in Damascus, Syria, January 27, 2019 (SANA)
The Assad regime has proclaimed that cooperation with Iran — despite Tehran’s own crises — will retrieve Syria’s economy after 94 months of conflict and more than $400 billion in damage.
A Syrian-Iranian Joint Ministerial Committee met on Sunday to discuss topics for Monday meetings.
No details were given, with the regime’s Economy Minister Mohammad Samer Khalil proclaiming that this year will be a turning point in links between Syria and Iran in economic, trade, and investment.
The most significant message, from both sides, was that Iranian companies will gain a significant stake in any post-conflict economy.
Khalil said Tehran will “achieve an active participation” in reconstruction. Iranian Roads and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Eslami said spoke of Iranian companies and institutions “ready to play a bigger role” in the process.
Iranian firms, including those of the Revolutionary Guards, have been vying — including with the Assad regime’s other main ally Russia — for control of resources and business and construction projects in Syria.
Syria has lost more than 75% of its GDP during the conflict after the March 2011 uprising. Iran’s self-proclaimed “Resistance Economy” is facing a fall of 60% in its oil exports, protests in some sectors, and production and investment difficulties amid long-term internal issues and US sanctions.