Iran, Syria Sign Military Cooperation Deal

Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami

Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami

Iran and Syria have signed an agreement on defense and technical cooperation during a visit by Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami who reiterated Tehran's commitment to the Arab country's security.

Israel has long called for the complete removal of all Iranian forces from Syria, warning repeatedly that Iran was using its intervention in Syria's civil war to stake out a permanent military presence on Israel's northern border and form a contiguous corridor between Iran and Lebanon controlled by its various proxies.

Under the agreement, Iran and Syria will enhance military and defense cooperation. "It is passing through the critical stage and it is entering the very important stage of reconstruction".

Iran has been an essential backer of Syria's government in the civil war now in its seventh year, providing advisers, military supplies, training and thousands of militiamen to fight alongside the Syrian army.

He said it was agreed with Syria that Iran would have "presence, participation and assistance" in reconstruction "and no third party will be influential in this issue".

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"Relations between the two countries are strong and stable", Assad said in the meeting, according to Tasnim.

Minister Ayoub also championed the two countries' special relationship, saying that "Syrian-Iranian relations are a model for bilateral ties between independent and sovereign nations".

Since the outbreak of war and foreign militancy in Syria in 2011, Iran has stood by the Syrian government and supported its people against terrorist groups, including Daesh (ISIL).

Iran and Russian Federation both intervened on behalf of the government as opposition forces gained ground in the early years of the war.

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