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Iran helping Syria bypass sanctions

Feb. 12, 2012 at 5:50 PM   |   Comments

TEHRAN, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Leaked documents suggest Iran has agreed to help Syria get around international sanctions imposed against the country for killing civilians.

The documents, obtained through a cyberattack by the hacker group Anonymous, detail interaction between the two countries, including the transfer of more than $1 billion from Iran to Syria, Haaertz reported Sunday.

"Iran has promised to relay to Syria its know-how on ways for transferring funds from the country abroad and back, based on the experience Iran has accumulated in this field," one memo dated Dec. 8 said.

This document lists ways Iran would help Syria, which is undergoing an economic crisis due to sanctions imposed by the Arab League, the United States, Turkey and the European Union. The European Union has imposed an oil embargo on Syria. Roughly 20 percent of Syria's gross domestic product comes from oil and 90 percent of Syrian oil is exported to European countries.

Iran paid Syria $1 billion for staples like olive oil, meat and fruit, though it is unclear if Iran actually needs the products or if the country is trying to boost Syria's economy, Haaertz said.

A second document from Dec. 14, says "the central banks of Syria and Iran agreed to use banks in Russia and China to ease the transfer of funds between the two countries, in view of the current conditions in Syria and Iran."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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