Syria discussing $1 billion Iran credit line
Syria is discussing a $1 billion credit line with Iran to shore up its economy, the war-battered country’s officials have said.
The Iranian government has given preliminary approval to the financing which is the second since 2013, Bloomberg quoted Syrian Central Bank Governor Adib Mayaleh as saying.
The credit line is part of a $3.6 billion facility which Iran agreed in May 2013 to extend to Syria in return for equity stakes in Syria investments.
Damascus has already received a $1 billion financing in a barter arrangement for imports of Iranian electricity equipment and other goods.
Syria’s economy has been battered under a ferocious conflict being waged by foreign-backed militants.
Mayaleh accused Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia of waging an economic war on Syria. “These speculators are just like the armed gunmen,” Bloomberg quoted him as saying.
On Tuesday, the Syrian pound rebounded from its losses, trading at 280 a dollar from 330 to the greenback last week, the governor said.
Syrian PM Wael al-Halqi (L) holds talks Iran’s Minister of Road and Urban Development Abbas Akhundi (R) during a visit to Tehran in December.
Mayaleh said the money from the first Iranian credit line has not run out yet but the government is not using the reserves.
Syria, he said, is using daily inflows of $10 million in personal transfers and exports to fund imports.
Iran’s joint ventures with Syria include power generation, construction of silos and car manufacturing.
Syria was a major ally of Iran during eight years of war with the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in the 1980s.