05252019Sat

Iranian supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, right, speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin

By Pooya Stone

Iran and Russia are currently vying for power in Syria as the country’s eight-year-long civil war draws to a close and this battle recently became public.

Syrian news site Syria Call wrote that nearly a dozen people, including women and children, were killed and about a dozen more were wounded in clashes between pro-Russian and pro-Iranian militia groups on April 14. The clashes in Aleppo involved heavy weaponry and rockets that hit a civilian neighbourhood and marketplace.

Geographic map of Iran and Syria

Iran Focus

London, 27 April - A recent report published by the International Monetary Fund shows that the economy in Iran dwindled last year following sanctions that were leveled by the US. As well, it is expected to decrease by another 3.6 percent or more this year. Iran’s oil exports have declined by more than half, and the rial, its currency, continues to decline in value. The recent flooding has also added to the economic crisis. Now, with the new sanctions leveled at the Iranian government’s military institution — the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its affiliates — an even more significant pressure will be put on the Islamic Republic.

Bashar al-Assad met with Ali Khamenei in Tehran

Iran Focus

London, 09 April - One unfortunate fact about the Syrian civil war is that it would have fizzled out years ago had it not been for foreign interventions. In particular, the intervention of Iran. The Syrian forces fighting on the side of President Bashar al Assad would have been long defeated had they not been supported by Iranian forces.

Syria is facing a major shortage of fuel after Iran cut off credit to them in October

Iran Focus

London, 18 April - Syria is facing a major shortage of fuel after Iran cut off credit to them in October under pressure from Us sanctions, according to Syrian government-controlled newspaper Al-Watan.

The paper reports that no oil tanker has come into Syrian ports in the past six months, according to the Syrian Oil Ministry, while the government-controlled regions in Syria are only producing 24,000 barrels per day, which is roughly 20% of what the country needs.

Syrian port

Iran Focus

London, 09 April - Iran is reportedly planning to lease Syria’s main commercial port in Latakia, which would significantly increase the mullahs’ foothold in the Middle East.

Iran began talks with Syria last month about leasing the container port, which has been under US sanctions since 2015, from October 1. Iran has been upgrading its navy, adding new vessels and submarines, including one that is capable of firing cruise missiles and needs new ports to accommodate them.

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