When Russia was invited to set up a fortified base in Hmeimim, in Syria’s coastal province of Latakia, and another in the port city of Tartus, it was under the assumption it would have the sole foreign military presence along Syria’s Mediterranean coast.
The Hmeimim tenure was open-ended, while the use of Tartus naval facility was granted until 2065 and renewable by mutual consent. However, from next October the Russians will no longer have the neighborhood to themselves – as Iran has leased parts of the port of Latakia.
Iran’s arrival on the scene raises serious political and security concerns for Moscow.
The lease of Latakia will not only end Russia’s exclusive presence in the coastal district, it may also put Russian troops and military vehicles at risk.
Hmeimim was subjected to a series of drone attacks between January and October of 2018 and having the Iranians so close would create a higher risk of similar operations in the area, whether by Israel, the United States, or other players on the Syrian battlefield seeking to settle old scores with the Iranians.
A permanent Iranian presence in Latakia could limit and possibly obstruct Russian surveillance and intelligence gathering, jam their radio-electronic technology, and jeopardize Russian air-defenses, aircraft, and the lives of military personnel.
The Syrian move comes in response to an official Iranian request, presented to Damascus last February. Realizing that they were unable to establish a permanent military presence like that of the Russians, or to illegally grab territory like the Turks, the Iranians settled for long-term economic influence in Syria in order to maintain a foothold in a crucial part of the region.
Iran gave the Syrians a line of credit totaling $6.6 billion since 2011, and that was topped up with an additional $1 billion in 2017. However, over the past three months, relations between the two countries have become even warmer, especially after President Bashar al-Assad landed in Tehran in February to meet with President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
The two governments agreed to establish a joint chamber of commerce, a joint bank, and a power station in Latakia. Iranian developers were also given the rights to construct a 200,000-apartment housing development near the Syrian capital.
Iran has also promised to address Syria’s ongoing crippling fuel shortage by sending all future shipments of heating fuel, cooking fuel, and gasoline to the Iranian-leased section of Latakia, once it is fully operational next autumn.
For Tehran, which is suffering under crippling US sanctions, a long-sought Mediterranean foothold is a potential game-changer. “Everyone wants a Silk Road nowadays, and ports are a good place to start,” said Oklahoma University Professor Joshua Landis, speaking to Asia Times.
“Iran dreams of building a strong regional economy based on trade, highways and pipelines that cross from Iran to the Mediterranean. Helping to build up Syrian ports is only one element in a much larger vision of prosperity and shared interests. Most important will be the day that Iran can sell its oil and gas to Europe by transporting across Iraq and Syria,” said Landis.
In 2017, the Iranians asked for a license to obtain 1,000 hectares of land in the coastal city of Tartus, which they wanted to transform into an oil and gas port.
Because of its proximity to the Russian military base, Moscow nixed the proposal. So, Tehran set its sights on 5,000 hectares of fertile territory close to the Shiite Sayideh Zainab Shrine near Damascus International Airport, which it wanted to develop for agriculture.
Again, the Russians said no, offering instead agricultural fields in the countryside of Deir Ezzor, but they were inaccessible as they were controlled by Kurdish militants allied to the United States.
However, talks have now resumed to revive the project on agricultural land deemed acceptable by the Iranians. And, back on the table is a proposal to bring an Iranian GSM cellular telephone network to the Syrian market, a proposal that has been on hold for three years.
The Latakia port agreement gives the Islamic Republic the right to use a Syrian harbor with 23 warehouses for economic purposes only, but once in control of the premises, nothing prevents them from transforming it into a military facility.
A foothold in Latakia fulfills a decades-long Iranian dream of having direct access to the Mediterranean Sea, from where it can ship goods, arms — and political influence — to the rest of the world.
I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This piece of writing posted at this web site is truly good.
Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask.
Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa?
My site addresses a lot of the same subjects as yours and
I think we could greatly benefit from each other.
If you are interested feel free to send me an e-mail.
I look forward to hearing from you! Fantastic blog by the way!
Somebody necessarily lend a hand to make seriously
posts I would state. This is the first time I frequented your website page and so far?
I amazed with the analysis you made to make this particular put up extraordinary.
As from the start to our second decade with the modern day, this is really not the
case. Note that only original equipment dealers can legally call
an automobile “certified used. If you might be having short-run economic crisis and are searching a financial minus the demand of collateral then a loans suit you probably the most.
Hello! This is my first visit to your blog!
We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the
same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on.
You have done a outstanding job!
The borrowers can liberally use payday cash advances no checking account for day-to-day needs.
Have you monthly excess at heart so that you
know which price ranges are suitable. It is not important just how
long the home are already owned, it’s not absolutely
vital because of this loan.
This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am truly happy to read all at single
The artsy, crafty types will quickly realize particular
opportunities with this arena, being a hobby, like crocheting or jewelry construction, can turn into a part-time
profession. Try getting quotes and continue searching
online which would supply you with a advantage on negotiating your
loan. Moreover, you don’t to get a flawless
financial history or a sound credit background in order to apply
for or understand this type of loan.
The borrowers can liberally use payday loans no banking account for day-to-day needs.
Most households use a mortgage, car loans, personal loans,
bank cards, and various payments that ought to be met on the
regular basis. These lenders possess the expertise to provide
you the very best secured credit card in the marketplace – thus saving you money on interest and account fees.
So, securing approval despite low credit score can be
as much difficult for the kids as anyone else.
On FTC’s site, you’d be able to go from the complete listing of
government-backed debt consolidation reduction firms, and make a calculated
decision determined by your needs and budget.
It is not important just how long the property
happen to be owned, it’s not essential for this loan.
Leave a comment