Syrian regime Prime Minister Imad Khamis visited Tehran Wednesday where he met with Iranian First Vice-President Ishaq Jahangiri, the latter said in an official press statement. During Khamis's visit to Iran, the two sides signed several MoUs in the fields of agriculture, mining and telecommunications. "The memorandums of understanding we have signed include the Syrian state's 5,000 hectares of agriculture, a large phosphate mine, a GSM operator and a thousand hectares of oil fields allocated to Iran," the Syrian regime prime minister said. Khamis also invited Iranian investors to Syria while saying the Assad regime "owes a lot to Iran."
Speaking at a joint news conference, Khamis said Syria had stood by Iran during the latter's eight-year war with Iraq in the 1980s while Iran had stood by Syria during its recent travails. Jahangiri, for his part, stressed the need to protect the two countries' recent "gains." Khamis also stressed that the good relations between Iran's late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and late Syrian President Hafez Assad continued today between Syria's Bashar Assad and Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani.
Iran has gained a strong position in Syria. The country has helped the Assad regime throughout the war, dispatching thousands of soldiers, mobilizing the Hezbollah group and delivering millions of dollars, despite its troubled economy due to international sanctions. Since 2013, Iran has increased its military presence in Syria and deployed hundreds of its special operation troops, besides militants. It is claimed that Iran has been collecting young people from poor countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India with the promise of granting citizenship.
Iran, which has a centralized Shiite version of Islam, has entered into competition with other regional actors, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia over the region by applying sectarian policies from which the people of the region suffer. Iran has adopted the policy of leading and uniting the Shiite communities in different Arab countries, including Iraq and Yemen, following the revolution in 1979.
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