Although Iran has helped the Assad regime survive, there are signs that the latter is trying to break free from Tehran's grip not only in the military but also in the economic sphere.
This is reflected in efforts to rehabilitate Syria and an interesting claim on the part of Iran that Syria prefers not to purchase construction materials directly from Iranian manufacturers. Raza Shahrastani, a member of the board of directors of Iran's steel producers, claims that his country has been marginalized in everything related to the reconstruction of Syria. He explained that the Syrians refuse to directly purchase steel and other inputs from Iran but prefer to do so through a third party, and especially Turkey.
He said this was the reason why Iran's exports of steel and cement to Syria were meager. Other sources report that China and the Emirates are far more dominant in the Syrian market than Iran in terms of supplying construction inputs and that the Iranian market share in Syria does not exceed 3%. In the first four months of the current year, Iran's exports of goods to the Syrian market are estimated at only $66 million.
In addition, the Syrian government recently revoked a permit to import cars made in Iran.