Iran and Venezuela to construct a new oil refinery in Syria
Iran is set to augment its geopolitical presence in the Middle East as it announces plans to construct a new oil refinery in Syria. This move stems from a three-way memorandum of understanding (MOU) among Iran, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, and Venezuela. This development emerges as US senators introduce a bill to thwart such alliances, indicating escalating tensions in international diplomacy.
According to the Syrian Observer, the new oil refinery, slated for construction in Syria's Homs, is expected to boast a daily capacity of 140,000 barrels. This ambitious project is the brainchild of a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) involving the Iranian government, Syria, and Venezuela—countries currently under stringent US sanctions.
Jalil Salari, the Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC), disclosed these plans, emphasizing the pressing need for petroleum products in Syria and its neighboring nations. The NIORDC's studies highlighted the viability of the new refinery, positioning it alongside the existing Homs and Bania refineries in Syria.
Salari elucidated Iran's plans to expedite the financing and construction phases of the project. The existing Homs refinery, boasting a capacity of 110,000 barrels, underwent repairs by Iranian engineers. This collaboration paved the way for further discussions and the eventual materialization of the oil refinery project.
As the geopolitical landscape becomes increasingly complex, US Republican Senators Marco Rubio and James Risch champion the "Assad Regime Anti-Normalization Act of 2023." This proposed legislation is a strategic move to hinder the normalization of diplomatic ties with Assad's regime, with a distinct focus on US allies in the Middle East.
The Iranian official is optimistic about the prospective oil refinery, anticipating that it will facilitate the export of 100,000 barrels per day of Iranian oil to Syria. Furthermore, the project is expected to amplify the export movement of technical and engineering services while generating revenue for Iranian technological companies.