Iran Fronts Syria $1Bn

Cash-strapped Syria can now draw on a new $1bn credit line from its strategic ally Iran to finance imports of “goods and services.”

This follows the ratification on 7 July by the Syrian parliament of an agreement concluded between two state-owned banks, the Syrian Commercial Bank and the Export Development Bank of Iran.

The credit line agreement between the two banks, first signed in Damascus on 19 May, is to facilitate the “financing of imports of goods and services and implementation of projects,” Syria’s state news agency SANA says. Tehran’s support to Syria has been essential since the beginning of the Syrian uprising, which began in early 2011. It continues to offer a lifeline of economic support in the form of oil supplies and credit. In 2014 Iran’s oil deliveries to Syria ranged between 50,000 b/d and 70,000 b/d, probably free of charge (MEES, 1 May). (CONTINUED - 372 WORDS)