Hatami arrived in Syria Sunday; Meeting with Assad and senior defense and army officials scheduled; EU to give Iran $21 million in aid to offset US sanctions; US envoy: The US and the European Union should be working together…



Iran’s Defense Minister arrived in Syria on Sunday for talks with President Assad and senior Syrian army and defense officials.

Amir Hatami met with Iran’s Ambassador to Syria, Javad Torkabadi, on Sunday morning, the minister to remain in Syria until Monday. He stated upon his arrival, “We hope to have a productive role in the reconstruction of Syria.”

Hatami will meet with Assad, as well as Iran’s military attaché in Damascus, Abolqassem Alinejad.

His visit follows the European Union’s announcement on Thursday that it would provide a nearly $21 million aid package to Iran to “offset” US sanctions on the Islamic Republic, in their latest efforts to save the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Trump Administration reimposed sanctions on Iran in an effort to curb Iran’s nuclear and missile programs earlier this month. Full sanctions include restrictions on purchasing US dollars, trade on gold and precious metals and the sale and trade of graphite and metals.

Shortly following, the European Union announced that it would use a blocking statute to nullify European firms from being affected by the US sanctions in order to “protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran.” It claimed at the time that “Preserving the nuclear deal with Iran is a matter of respecting international agreements and a matter of international security.”

US special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, responded to the EU’s aid package, stating ahead of the weekend “Foreign aid from European taxpayers perpetuates the regime’s ability to neglect the needs of its people and stifles meaningful policy changes… The Iranian people face very real economic pressures caused by their government’s corruption, mismanagement, and deep investment in terrorism and foreign conflicts,” He added “The US and the European Union should be working together instead to find lasting solutions that truly support Iran’s people and end the regime’s threats to regional and global stability.”

The Trump Administration will impose a second round of sanctions on Iran’s oil and energy sectors in November. The White House confirmed the sanctions will include “targeting Iran’s energy sector, including petroleum-related transactions, as well as transactions by foreign financial institutions with the Central Bank of Iran”.

Be sure to watch Amir’s Middle East Current Events Update from last night, where he addressed developments in Syria, Iran, Russia and much more.


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