Iran’s defense minister has pledged that his country will contribute to the reconstruction of war-ravaged Syria, AFP reported.

Amir Hatami, who met with his Syrian counterpart, Abdullah Ayoub, and President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday in Damascus, said, “Syria is in a very, very important juncture. It is passing through the critical stage and it is entering the very important stage of reconstruction.”

Tehran has given the Assad regime political, financial, and military backing throughout the country’s seven-year uprising.

Hatami said there would be Iranian “presence, participation and assistance” in Syria’s reconstruction “and no third party will be influential in this issue.”

Minister Ayoub highlighted the countries strong relationship, saying, “Syrian-Iranian relations are a model for bilateral ties between independent and sovereign nations.”

Iran has deployed military forces to Syria but insists they are advisers, not fighters. Iran-backed militias, including the powerful Lebanese Hezbollah movement, have also supported Assad’s troops.