The scene of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad receiving his Iranian counterpart is a scene that Tehran paid the price for over almost a decade.
Although the Russian military intervention in Syria decisively tipped the balance in favor of Assad, the Iranian role was no less important, especially at the beginning of the Syrian war.
On more than one front, Iran moved to support its ally, which provides it with the extended hand in Arab countries, and the most prominent of these fronts were military and financial.
Militarily, Iran’s intervention began by sending military expertise to support and train the Syrian army and then local armed groups. Despite Iran’s denial of military intervention, reports of Iranian participation in the fighting are countless.
Hezbollah, supported by Iran, officially announced its involvement in the fighting in Syria in 2013, through its secretary-general’s statement. The beginning was in al-Qusair.
The decision was initially justified by the party as protection of the Lebanese borders against the infiltration of Islamic extremist groups into the country, and then to protect Shiite holy places. Its involvement in the war then went as far as being a lifting crane for the Syrian army in the face of opposition groups. All of these steps were taken in coordination with Iran.
Iran’s financial support to Damascus was no less important than the military support.
In addition to trade agreements, oil supplies, and other forms of aid, Iran did not spare any effort in providing loans to its Syrian ally. An example of this is the two loans that it provided to Syria in 2013.
For Iran, Assad’s Syria is a necessity, and for Assad, Iran was one of the factors that kept the oxygen flowing in his veins. Together, they went through a war that tore Syria’s bonds from north to south.
It is a strategic relationship that has brought them together since the moment of the Islamic revolution.
They do not agree on one ideology, but rather on axes of conflict.
The first of which was Iraq, where they agreed on hostility to Saddam Hussein’s regime, then in Lebanon, where they sometimes clashed and mostly allied, and their point of convergence is Hezbollah.