How Iran and Russia are Set to Prosper from Assad's Lucrative Reconstruction Contracts in Syria
by Matthew RJ Brodsky
ClearCut with Michelle Makori / i24News
October 23, 2017
With the Syrian civil war winding down, Bashar al-Assad is handing out lucrative reconstruction contracts for Syria and Iran and Russia are set to cash in. Matthew RJ Brodsky joins Michelle Makori on i24News "ClearCut" to explain.
Iran has long sought to marry its military and economic ventures. The IRGC has done so to cement its long term position Syria and it has tentacles in most areas of Iran's economy. In January, Iran signed five economic memorandums of understanding with Syria, including land leases in Homs and Tartous for the construction of oil and gas terminals. Meanwhile, along the road to Palmyra from the Eastern Qalamoun, where Hezbollah is dug in, there are phosphate mines where Iran has leased massive tracks of land for 99 years.
Russia, for its part, only waited half a year after jumping into the Syrian morass to save Assad to sign its own infrastructure contracts worth a reported $1 billion in April 2016. It was followed by a November agreement with Damascus that gives Moscow priority in awarding future contracts. The two countries are even considering creating a new joint bank to smooth such transactions. In Deir ez Zor in eastern Syria where the latest fighting against ISIS is taking place are oil fields whose final disposition is still up in the air.
The one thing for certain is that Assad has no desire to sign contracts with those who opposed him and he has no intention of rebuilding the areas where the rebels have set up bases.