Iran, Iraq pledge to strengthen bilateral ties, focusing on economic exchanges

Iran and Iraq vowed on Monday to take further steps to develop their bilateral ties as the two neighbors eye closer regional cooperation in the wake of rising tensions in the region.

23 July 2019
ID : 22122
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Iran and Iraq vowed on Monday to take further steps to develop their bilateral ties as the two neighbors eye closer regional cooperation in the wake of rising tensions in the region.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left middle, chairs a high-level meeting with Iraqi political and business delegation in Tehran on Monday. IRNA

Iran and Iraq vowed on Monday to take further steps to develop their bilateral ties as the two neighbors eye closer regional cooperation in the wake of rising tensions in the region. 

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani in a meeting with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said that Tehran and Baghdad have taken good steps in recent years to inch closer to each other, stressing that such measures will certainly continue in the future.

Abdul Mahdi arrived in Tehran on Monday night, heading a high-level political and business delegation.

“At a time when there isn’t necessary stability and security in the region, all-inclusive ties between Tehran and Baghdad will surely increase peace and stability in the region,” Rouhani said.

He noted that Iran has always been the main guardian of security and freedom of shipping in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman and “will continue to be”.

He made the remark after Iran seized a British-flagged ship in the Strait of Hormuz for violating international maritime regulations. 

“Iran and Iraq, as two friends and neighbours, can develop their ties to promote stability and security in the region,” he added.

Tehran and Baghdad have signed an array of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) to expand and develop their ties, especially their economic ones.

Rouhani also noted that developing banking ties between the two countries is important.

Iran and Iraq have agreed to open a special non-dollar-based banking channel in a bid to circumvent the US sanctions on iternational banking ties with Iran.  

The Iranian president stressed that problems can be solved through dialogue and talks between regional countries.

The Iraqi prime minister reiterated that his country is committed to implementing all the agreements, inclduing the building of Shalamcheh-Basra railway that connect the Iranian rail network to Iraq to be later linked to the Syrian railroads

Adel Abdul Mahdi stressed that Baghdad will never be part of the US sanctions on Iran, in a referrence to the US efforts to force countries not to buy Iranian oil and cut off all ties with Tehran. 

On Monday, Iraqi and Iranian officials reviewd bilateral agreements in a bid to accelerate their implementation

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