TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iran’s Ambassador to Iraq Iraj Masjedi and Iraqi Electricity Minister Luay al-Khateeb held talks on a range of issues, including ways to boost bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries in various areas.

In the meeting held in Baghdad on Wednesday, Masjedi voiced Iran’s readiness to fully support the Iraqi government, the electricity ministry in particular, according to a statement released by Khateeb’s office.

Tehran and Baghdad need each other and there are strong ties between the two nations, the Iranian diplomat added.

The meeting came as Brian Hook, the special representative for Iran at the US State Department, said Iraq will continue to have access to the energy it needs from Iran to generate and supply electricity.

“Iraq has been granted an exemption” to the energy sanctions the US has re-imposed on Iran, Hook said Monday on a media conference call without providing details.

Iraq is still importing natural gas and electricity from neighboring Iran and has set up a bank account to process payments in Iraqi dinars, according to two Iraqi government officials, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak to media, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

Iraq’s central bank officials said in August that the country’s economy is so closely linked to Iran that Baghdad would ask Washington for permission to ignore some US sanctions.

Iraq imports crucial supplies from its neighbor including gas for power stations.