TEHRAN (Iran News) – Russia, Iran, Syria working to secure oil, wheat shipments to Arab country and have established an operations room to secure a safe and stable flow of oil supplies, wheat and some other essential materials to the Arab country via the Mediterranean, private sources have revealed to Sputnik Arabic.
The report said there had recently been intensive meetings among the representatives of the three countries to find ways to break the blockade imposed by the United States and Europe on Syria.
According to the sources, the joint mission is tasked with improving multi-sided coordination to secure the arrival of oil in the first place amid the biggest fuel crisis Syria has witnessed in decades.
They said based on an agreed-upon mechanism, Russian warships will escort Iranian oil tankers coming to Syria when they arrive in the Suez Canal and until they reach the Syrian territorial waters.
“The supply of oil will continue during the coming period through the collection of a number of Iranian ships and sending them to Syria in a single batch, provided that the Russian naval fleet in the Mediterranean would take over the safety of their access to the Syrian ports continuously until the end of this year,” the sources said.
According to the Sputnik sources, the new mechanism has ensured safe access to the Syrian estuaries for four Iranian tankers transporting crude oil and natural gas and escorted by Russian warships over the recent days.
Syrian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Bassam Tomeh said in March that the US and its allied Takfiri terrorist groups were plundering oil resources in the country. The minister said Washington controls 90 percent of crude reserves in oil-rich northeastern Syria.
“Americans and their allies are targeting the Syrian oil wealth and its tankers just like pirates,” Tomeh said.
The cost of direct and indirect damage to the Syrian oil sector, the minister said, stands at more than $92 billion.
The Sputnik sources said a number of ships were also scheduled to arrive in Syria in succession, carrying foodstuffs and some basic commodities to enter the pharmaceutical industries in particular.
Addressing a virtual UN Security Council briefing on the humanitarian situation in Syria in late March, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said the United States is engaged in a large-scale operation to smuggle oil and grain out of Syria.
“Reports continue to come in that American convoys are trucking out oil and grain from Syria to Iraq daily. The information [we] receive suggests that 300 oil tank trucks and more than 200 cargo trucks with grain had crossed the Syrian-Iraqi border by March 23 since the beginning of the month,” Sergey Vershinin said.
Russian shipping vessels are said to transport wheat to Syria based on previously-signed contracts.
It is expected that Russian wheat supplies will continue until the end of June, which means that Syria is now securing its needs for flour until mid-2022.
A political analyst told Press TV back in March that the US and Israel are trying to prevent cargo ships and oil tankers from entering Syrian waters as part of the economic siege against the Arab country and its reconstruction process.
Saleh Abu Izzah, a senior expert in West Asia affairs, added that the US is using the economic blockade to achieve what it failed to accomplish in the battlefield of the full-scale war.
He said the US has started its regular attacks against Syria since 2011, and later, along with its allies, imposed a cruel and horrible blockade against the government, ruling system, and people of Syria by passing the Caesar Act in 2020.
Abu Izzah referred to the siege as a mechanism used by Washington, Riyadh, and Tel Aviv to undermine the Astana Peace Process, an initiative launched by Iran, Russia, and Turkey to find a political settlement to the Syria crisis.
Iran also announced in February that it is to open a direct shipping line between its major container port of Bandara Abbas in the south and Syria’s Mediterranean port of Latakia in early March.
“Based on the agreement reached, cargo ships will be scheduled to carry freight from Iran to Syria once per month,” said Kayvan Kashefi, who serves as the Chairman of Iran-Syria Joint Chamber of Commerce.
Kashefi said a first ship will start sailing to Latakia via the direct line on March 10, adding that the service could take place twice a month if demand for shipping to Syria increases on the Iranian side.