June 17, 2021
Iran’s Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Mohammad Eslami, at the beginning of a four-day trip to Syria on Tuesday emphasized the need for Iran to help Syria’s reconstruction.
Eslami also underlined the importance of cooperation with the Syrian government in this regard and maintained that “we have all the effective tools to cooperate in the reconstruction.” The Iranian minister is scheduled to meet with a host of Syrian officials, including the prime minister.
Iran has been supporting the government of Bashar al-Assad since civil war broke out in the country a decade ago, both economically and militarily. Iranian officials have said that Tehran has spent up to $30 billion to support Assad in the ten years of war and hundreds of Iranian and its proxy forces have been killed in the fight against rebels.
Iran, which has been under sanctions for most of the past decade, suffers from serious economic problems and protesters who have defied the state during several large-scale demonstrations since 2017 have called on Islamic Republic leaders to spend scarce resources to improve the livelihood of the Iranian people instead of supporting Assad and other allies and proxies in the region.
Several Iranian officials in recent months have spoken of participating in Syria’s reconstruction, for example in rebuilding the war-torn country’s electricity grid. It is not clear if Iran is planning to pout more money into Syria or wants a piece of the reconstruction business once funds become available from other sources.