Iran has struck an initial agreement with Syria to rebuild Damascus’s power grid, state media reported on Saturday, deepening the Islamic Republic’s presence and involvement in the war-torn country.
The memorandum of understanding will see Tehran foot the bill for the construction of power plants and transmission lines, which could possibly lead to connecting the two countries to the same power grid through Iraq, according to an IRNA news agency report picked up by Reuters.
After the signing of the deal, Syrian Electricity Minister Mohammad Zuhair Kharboutli labeled Iran’s role in reconstructing the plant as “important.” It suffered 50 percent damage since the 2011 start of a bloody civil war.
Tehran has given the Syrian government billions of dollars in aid since the conflict began and sent Iran-backed fighters to battle alongside his forces — assistance that has helped turn the tide in Assad’s favor.
Israel has repeatedly warned that it will not tolerate an Iranian military presence in Syria and has conducted multiple strikes to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Iranian proxies including the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.
Israel has also extensively lobbied Washington and Moscow to ensure any long-term arrangement in Syria will keep Iranian forces and Iranian-backed militias far away from the Israeli border.