Friday, March 30, 2012
Iran is helping its ally Syria defy Western sanctions by providing a vessel to ship Syrian oil to a state-run company in China, potentially giving the government of President Bashar al-Assad a financial boost worth an estimated $80 million.
Iran, itself a target of Western sanctions, is among Syria’s closest allies and has promised to do all it can to support Assad, recently praising his handling of the year-long uprising against Assad in which thousands have been killed.
China has also shielded Assad from foreign intervention, vetoing two Western-backed resolutions at the United Nations over the bloodshed, and is not bound by Western sanctions against Syria, its oil sector and state oil firm Sytrol.
“The Syrians planned to sell the oil directly to the Chinese but they could not find a vessel,” said an industry source who added that he had been asked to help Sytrol execute the deal but did not take part.