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Leaked documents suggest Iran financial aid to Syria

12 february 2012

Documents leaked following cyber-attack by hacker group Anonymous show Tehran has given embattled Syrian President Bashir-al Assad more than USD 1bn to overcome an oil embargo.


According to documents from the Syrian president's office obtained by Israeli daily Haaretz, Iran has been helping Syria bypass international sanctions imposed on it for massacring civilians.


The documents show that Iran has given the Syrian regime more than USD 1 billion, which would help it overcome other restrictions too, like on flights and sanctions against the central bank.


The documents were authored two months ago and detail discussions by senior Iranian delegations visiting Syria. They are written in an ambiguous language and only in a number of places do they detail ways Syria would be aided to bypass sanctions, but repeatedly refer to Syria's wish to "learn from the Iranian experience in this area."


The United States, Turkey, the European Union, the Arab League and other countries have imposed severe sanctions against Syria due to the regime's attacks on civilians. As part of the sanctions, all Arab League members have ceased contact with the Central Bank of Syria, and commercial flights from Arab countries to and from Syria have stopped.


The European Union has imposed an oil embargo on Syria. Around 20 per cent of Syria's gross domestic product derives from oil sales, with 90 per cent of Syrian oil being exported to the EU.


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