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Iran, Syria sign military deal, amid other moves to defy US

The Syrian government is one of Iran’s proxies, engaging in the seven-year civil war.

The Iran nuclear program’s heavy-water reactor at Arak and Syrian President Bashar Assad. Credit: Roosewelt Pinheiro/ABr and Nanking2012 via Wikimedia Commons.
The Iran nuclear program’s heavy-water reactor at Arak and Syrian President Bashar Assad. Credit: Roosewelt Pinheiro/ABr and Nanking2012 via Wikimedia Commons.

Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami announced on Monday that his country and Syria have signed an agreement to rebuild the latter’s military. This comes as Iran has been looking to defy U.S. sanctions that were reimposed earlier this month.

In an interview with Beirut-based al-Mayadeen TV, Hatami, who is on a two-day visit to Syria, said the deal also consists of developing Syria’s military complex.

The Syrian government is one of Iran’s proxies, engaging in the seven-year civil war. The deal includes military supplies and advisers, in addition to training thousands of troops to fight with the Syrian army.

Moreover, France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, announced on Monday that his country and Germany are looking to develop a payments system that would allow the European Union to circumvent U.S. sanctions on Iran, which were reimposed earlier this month after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew America from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May.

That development comes as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that the remaining parties in the nuclear agreement should stay in it and allow Iran access to economic markets, such as banking and oil.

“Iran has acted upon all its promises in the nuclear agreement and, with attention to the one-sided withdrawal of America … expects the remaining partners to operate their programs more quickly and transparently,” said Rouhani.

Finally, Iran has continued talks with Russia over building a new nuclear power reactor that could generate a maximum of 3,000 megawatts of electricity, Iranian energy minister Reza Ardakanian said on Saturday, according to Iranian state media.

The Tasnim news agency reported that Iran, at the moment, is capable of producing 1,000 megawatts of electricity.

Iran currently runs a Russian-made nuclear plan at Bushehr. In 2014, Russia signed a deal with Iran to build at least eight additional reactors in the country.

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