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Syria, Iran ink new trade deals amid crisis

"Iran will not leave Syria alone in such a difficult situation,” vows Iranian minister.

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Iranian corvette class vessel 'Shahid Naqdi', sent by Tehran to the Mediterranean to help 'train the Syrian navy. (AFP/Getty/AFP/Getty Images)

Syria and Iran have signed a memorandum of understanding, signaling no weakening in their old alliance despite widespread criticism of the Syrian regime's brutal response to a 16-month government revolt there. 

The agreement, which the country's semi-official Fars news agency said was signed on Thursday, includes plans for Iran to supply Syria with electricity and new Iran-based training sessions for Syrian engineers. 

More from GlobalPost: Iran condemns Damascus bombing

The meeting in Tehran between Iranian Energy Minister Majid Namjou and Syrian Minister of Electricity Imad Khamis also included deals tied to the medical supplies, water treatment, and the development of various infrastructure systems, reported Bloomberg, citing Syria’s state-run Sana news agency. 

Iran also offered to help rebuild utilities damaged in the Syrian conflict, reported Iran's semi-official Mehr news.

The fight between the Syrian government and an armed anti-government rebellion has torn the country apart and taken some 17,000 lives. 

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not leave Syria alone in such a difficult situation,” Mehr quoted Namjou as saying

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iran/120728/syria-iran-ink-new-trade-deals-amid-crisis