Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Rostam Ghasemi meets with Syrian President Bashar al-Asad, October 7, 2022 in Damascus, Syria.
“Iran stands by the people and government of Syria.”
In May 2022, the UN hosted a conference in Brussels to seek $10.5 billion in donor commitments to rebuild Syria. While pledges fell short, the money that the international community will spend on reconstruction in Syria is significant. The excerpted article from the Mehr News Agency, an outlet sponsored by Iran’s Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization, reports on a visit by Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development, Rostam Ghasemi, to Damascus to meet with top Syrian officials including President Bashar Al-Assad. During his visit, Ghasemi floated the possibility of a railroad from Iran through Iraq to Syria. This seems farfetched given both insecurity in regions of Iraq and Syria, which the railroad would transect, as well as the length of time it would take to complete the project. Ghasemi also promised that Iran would help support the construction of housing projects in Syria—an offer that the Syrian government appeared to welcome. Construction projects of this sort have military implications given that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) economic wing, Khatam al-Anbiya,dominates Iran’s construction sector. Should the Syrian government contract with Iranian firms to aid Syria’s reconstruction, this could essentially provide the IRGC with funds at a time when both sanctions and the expense of countering internal protests drain Iran’s treasury.
“Amadegi Iran baraye Sakht-e Peruzheh-ha-ye Bozorg Moskan dar Suriya (Iran is Ready to Build Large Housing Projects in Syria),” Mehr News Agency (media outlet sponsored by Iran’s Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization), 7 October 2022. https://www.mehrnews.com/news/5603757
According to Mehr News Agency, Rostam Ghasemi, the minister of Roads and Urban Development, during his trip to Damascus and in a meeting with Syrian Prime Minister Hossein Arnous, emphasized Tehran’s support for Syria and stated: Iran stands by the people and government of Syria. We are with Syria in various fields, especially economic, and we can have good cooperation and participate in the fields of trade, commerce and large housing construction projects.
In this meeting, Arnous also mentioned the all-round support of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the people and the country of Syria and stated, “I thank and appreciate the leader, people and government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the all-round and continuous support to Syria.”
He added, “In the difficult situation we are facing to supply oil and its derivatives, we thank Iran for helping us to supply oil. We are under an unfair siege and we welcome Iranian investors who want to be in Syria.”
Referring to the process of rebuilding Syria after the war and the devastation caused by the 11-year war, Arnous stated: Opening wider horizons of cooperation between the two countries is for the benefit of the two nations and the two countries, and positive results are created from joint cooperation.
Image: Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Rostam Ghasemi meets with Syrian President Bashar al-Asad, October 7, 2022 in Damascus, Syria
Source: Tasnim News Agency
Attribution: Public Domain