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Qalibaf: US turned to economic war after defeat against resistance on battlefrield

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this photo taken from SANA, Syrian Prime Minister Hussein Arnous (R) is seen in a meeting with Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf and his delegation in Damascus, July 28, 2021.

The Iranian Parliament speaker says the United States and Israel have turned to economic war and sanctions following failure to defeat the resistance front on the battle ground, stressing the need for enhanced trade ties among countries of the resistance axis to foil the pair’s economic plots.

“They [the US and Israel] are convinced that they cannot defeat Iran or the [broader] resistance front militarily, and that is why they have resorted to economic war and sanctions,” Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said in a meeting with Syrian Prime Minister Hussein Arnous in Damascus Wednesday night.

Qalibaf referred to the US military’s unlawful presence on Syrian soil and said such measures “will bring them no results. That is the reason why they have stood up against the people using media and economic wars.”

“Today, the resistance front is facing an economic war,” Qalibaf said. “We can defeat the enemy in the economic war as well through joint cooperation in the economic and trade sector.”

The top Iranian parliamentarian said although countries of the resistance front enjoy good political and security cooperation, their economic interactions do not stand at a satisfactory level, warning, “If this situation continues, the resistance front will be facing a serious risk.”

Heading a parliamentary delegation, Qalibaf arrived at the Syrian capital on Tuesday for an official visit for high-level talks on various issues, including economic cooperation between Tehran and Damascus. 

Just hours after Qalibaf met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the US Treasury Department announced new sanctions against the Syrian government and other groups operating alongside the Syrian army against terrorism in the Arab country, which is recovering from almost a decade of foreign-sponsored militancy.

For his part, the Syrian prime minister said efforts were underway to solve the problems facing tradesmen and enterprises of the two countries' private sectors with the purpose of improving trade cooperation.

He also said Syria would also adopt measures to settle some banking issues hampering trade between the two states.

Referring to President Assad’s order to forge closer relations with Iran in all fields, Arnous said Tehran and Damascus should work to increase economic cooperation as much as possible.

He also commended Iran’s support for Syria to stand against militant groups.

‘Enhanced ties among Muslims only way to foil enemy’s economic war’

The Iranian Parliament speaker expressed the same positions in a separate meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad.

Qalibaf said defeating the US- and Israeli-backed terror groups following a decade of “difficult battles” marked “a great victory” for the Syrian nation.

Iranian Parliament speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf (R) and Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad meet in Damascus on July 28, 2021. (Photo by ICANA)

In the face of the victory, he added, the US and Israel have concluded that they will not be able to defeat the resistance front through warfare or proxy war.

“They have, therefore, dragged the war to the economic field in order to exert pressure on people of the Muslim states, especially the resistance front,” said Qalibaf, describing increased interactions among those countries as the only way to foil the plot.

To achieve that goal, the Parliament chief said, there is a need to remove the obstacles and pave the way for businessmen, industries, and all those active in the private economic sector.

The Syrian foreign minister, for his part, said Tehran and Damascus currently enjoy the best level of political and security relations and should promote relations in all fields to the highest possible level.

Mekdad added that the resistance front is gaining more power in the region.

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