On the same day that Tehran and Syria inked a series of accords, Iran’s president met with senior Palestinian leaders in Damascus and indicated his country’s support for them.
According to Khaled Abdul-Majid, a Palestinian official based in Damascus, the group informed Iran’s Ebrahim Raisi of the situation in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
Iran has been a major financial and military supporter of several Palestinian factions.
“The Palestinian leaders thanked Iran for its support to the resistance and the Palestinian cause,” stated Abdul-Majid following the meeting.
He said that Raisi assured Palestinian authorities, including key leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad extremist groups, that Iran would continue to back them.
To strengthen economic connections between the two partners, Raisi started a two-day visit to Syria.
The two nations inked several long-term cooperation deals on oil and other industries. Raisi met with Syrian President Bashar Assad and traveled to Shiite Muslim holy sites close to Damascus.
Since a 2011 uprising devolved into a full-fledged civil war, Tehran has been Assad’s government’s leading supporter and crucial in shifting the balance of power in his favor.
Iran has dispatched many military instructors and thousands of fighters from the Middle East who Iran supports to Syria to fight alongside Assad.
Tehran has also provided Assad a financial lifeline by delivering gasoline and billion-dollar credit lines.
With the assistance of its two main allies, Russia and Iran, Syrian government forces have just reclaimed control of a sizable portion of the nation.
Iran looks to be seeking to benefit from its decades-long support of the Syrian president with investment and economic prospects to help ease its faltering economy in light of Arab states, which formerly urged Assad’s overthrow, slowly making apologies with Damascus.
According to reports in the Syrian state-run media, Assad and Raisi signed pacts and memorandums of understanding relating to several industries, including oil, agriculture, railroads, and free trade zones.
Iran’s state-owned railway firm has long hoped to connect its network to the Syrian port of Latakia on the Mediterranean Sea to increase trade by extending it through neighboring Iraq and Syria.
The opposition in Syria and Tehran’s detractors perceive this as another Iranian move to increase its political clout.
The agreements are also crucial for Syria, whose economy has seen an all-time low over the previous ten years due to skyrocketing inflation, a devaluation of its currency, and frequent power outages.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, was the most recent leader to travel to Syria in 2010.