TEHRAN, Mar. 08 (Press Shia) – First Vice-President Jahangiri said Wed. that Iran is ready to open up to a $3 billion credit line for Iraq as part of the Islamic Republic’s contribution to Iraq reconstruction.
Es’hagh Jahangiri made the announcement in a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Wednesday evening in Baghdad.
The Iranian official deemed banking issues the major obstacle to the expansion of economic relations between Tehran and Baghdad, and called for the need for free trade between the two sides.
Jahangiri maintained that Iran and Iraq need to draw up a comprehensive document upon which to base their bilateral economic cooperation.
He also stressed the importance of connecting Iran and Iraq’s networks, adding “this measure requires the construction of a bridge and 30km of railway, which will give Iraq access to Central Asia and China, and extend Iran’s railway all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.”
The two sides had reached an agreement on railway link at Shalamcheh border point back in 2015.
Jahangiri went on to stress that Iran sees no limitation on expanding cooperation with Iraq in various fields, including oil and gas, and pharmaceuticals.
He also noted that the two sides had reached agreements on customs and standards, but added that certain problems still remain which need cooperation on both sides to be fully resolved.
The Iraqi prime minister, for his part, voiced his country’s readiness to make the necessary efforts for resolving banking issues.
He also welcomed the participation of Iranian companies in Iraq’s reconstruction projects, saying the Iranian private sector has made good investments in rebuilding the country’s infrastructures.
He further expressed hope that the issues related to Arvandroud (Shatt al-Arab) would be settled through negotiations between the two sides.