Defense Minister of Iran Brigadier General Amir Hatami called for the expansion of military and defense ties between Tehran and Baghdad, describing support for Iraq as a principled policy of the Islamic Republic.

In a telephone conversation with his new Iraqi counterpart, General Hatami congratulated Najah Hassan Ali Al-Shammari on taking the post.

Hailing Iraq as a friend of Iran with age-old religious, social and civilizational commonalities, the Iranian minister expressed the hope for the enhancement of military and defense cooperation between the two neighbors during Al-Shammari’s tenure.

Supporting the Iraqi government and nation is a principled policy of the Islamic Republic, General Hatami noted, adding, “We consider Iraq’s security, stability and progress as being in the interests of the region, and have always defended it.”

Stressing the need for closer consultations between Tehran and Baghdad on the bilateral and regional issues, the defense minister invited his Iraqi counterpart to pay a visit to Iran.

For his part, Al-Shammari praised Iran for supporting Iraq in the fight against terrorist groups, saying the two neighboring states share a lot of interests and their security and stability are interrelated.

Earlier in June, Commander of Khatam al-Anbia Anti-Aircraft Base of the Iranian Army, Brigadier General Alireza Sabahi Fard, said the Iranian Air Defense is fully prepared to satisfy Iraq’s air defense demands in all areas.

In April, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri said Tehran and Baghdad have agreed to launch air defense cooperation to combat possible threats to Iran’s western border.

In July 2017, Iran and Iraq signed an agreement to boost military cooperation in a host of fields, including counterterrorism.

Based on the deal, Tehran and Baghdad try to promote interaction and share experiences in the fight against terrorism and extremism, work together to ensure border security, and provide each other with training and logistical, technical and military support.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

High-ranking officials from Iran, Syria, and Iraq have agreed to create “a multimodal transport corridor” a part of efforts to boost trade relations between the three Muslim nations.

“The three friendly and brotherly countries of Iran, Iraq, and Syria have good and growing business relations,” Iranian Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development Shahram Adamnejad told the Tasnim News Agency.

“Given the actual and potential capacities created by the bilateral agreements between the three countries as well as the prospect of increasing these exchanges in the near future, we will witness a new chapter of trade prosperity in the territories of the three countries,” he added.

“Accordingly, the three countries have agreed to establish a multimodal transport corridor on the route from Iran to Iraq and Syria, and vice versa,” the deputy minister went on to say.

Speaking at a trilateral meeting between the state-owned Iraqi Republic Railways (IRR) and its Iranian and Syrian counterparts, the IRR Managing Director Talib Jawad Kazim praised Iran’s achievements in the railroad industry and said the sanctions have made Iran archive great successes.

He further pointed to the railroad project connecting Iran’s Shalamcheh to Iraq’s Basra and said his country is willing to speed up the project so that the two countries’ rail networks are connected to each other and then connected to Syria.

During Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Iraq in March, the two countries signed five deals to promote cooperation in various fields.

The documents entail cooperation between Iran and Iraq concerning the Basra-Shalamcheh railroad project, visa facilitation for investors, cooperation in the health sector, and agreements between the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade of Iran and Ministry of Trade of Iraq, and another one in the field of oil between the petroleum ministries of the two countries.

Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Reza Rahmani has said that Tehran and Baghdad have agreed to reach the target of raising the value of annual trade exchange to $20 billion within two years.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

By Padraig O’Hannelly.

Following the increase in tensions in the Gulf region in recent weeks, two British diplomats have expressed the view that Iraq could have a positive role to play.

Addressing delegates at CWC‘s Iraq Petroleum conference in London, the British Ambassador to Iraq, Jonathan Wilks CMG, said:

Iraq is strong enough now to keep itself out of whatever may develop between the US and Iran, as long as it asserts its sovereignty and independence with all countries, not just with Iran and the US, but with all countries east and west. It is powerful enough to do this now … [and] must be taken seriously as an economic power.

“Iraq is back as a reasonable, constructive and credible player in world affairs.

Later at the same gathering, Sir William Patey KCMG (pictured on left), a former UK Ambassador to both Iraq and Saudi Arabia, said:

Iraq is in a unique position, in that it has equity in ensuring that there isn’t a war … and I think a confident new Iraq could play a role.

“It has better relations with Saudi Arabia, it has good relations with Iran, it has a close relationship with the United States, and it has a lot at stake. So I actually think in terms of reducing the tensions, I think there is potential for Iraq, and I think  the current leadership of Iraq has the [right] vision and outlook.”

By Padraig O’Hannelly.

Following the increase in tensions in the Gulf region in recent weeks, two British diplomats have expressed the view that Iraq could have a positive role to play.

Addressing delegates at CWC‘s Iraq Petroleum conference in London, the British Ambassador to Iraq, Jonathan Wilks CMG, said:

Iraq is strong enough now to keep itself out of whatever may develop between the US and Iran, as long as it asserts its sovereignty and independence with all countries, not just with Iran and the US, but with all countries east and west. It is powerful enough to do this now … [and] must be taken seriously as an economic power.

“Iraq is back as a reasonable, constructive and credible player in world affairs.

Later at the same gathering, Sir William Patey KCMG (pictured on left), a former UK Ambassador to both Iraq and Saudi Arabia, said:

Iraq is in a unique position, in that it has equity in ensuring that there isn’t a war … and I think a confident new Iraq could play a role.

“It has better relations with Saudi Arabia, it has good relations with Iran, it has a close relationship with the United States, and it has a lot at stake. So I actually think in terms of reducing the tensions, I think there is potential for Iraq, and I think  the current leadership of Iraq has the [right] vision and outlook.”

Official delegations from Iran and Iraq held the second meeting of a joint commission for coordination on Arvand Rud, a border river flowing in Iran’s southwestern province of Khuzestan.

The Tuesday meeting was held in Tehran within the framework of an agreement signed by the heads of the two states.

The meeting was co-chaired by the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s director general for legal and international affairs and the Iraqi foreign minister’s advisor.

In the gathering, attended by the representatives of various Iranian and Iraqi ministries and organizations, the two sides discussed the general framework of the arrangements for dredging and clean-up of Arvand Rud, and agreed that the joint operational ideas would be submitted to the high-ranking officials of the two countries to be agreed upon and implemented.

Prior to the talks, the interim technical task force on dredging Arvand Rud had held a meeting, during which technical experts from the two countries held negotiations on a timetable for the operations regarding the clean-up of Arvand Rud, according to the Foreign Ministry’s official website.

Back in May, Iranian and Iraqi authorities signed the proceedings of a meeting that had been held to study the technical issues of dredging Arvand Rud.

Tehran and Baghdad have already signed an agreement to resolve disagreements over Arvand Rud based on the 1975 Algiers Accord, which deals with border issues and norms of good neighborliness.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Official delegations from Iran and Iraq held the second meeting of a joint commission for coordination on Arvand Rud, a border river flowing in Iran’s southwestern province of Khuzestan.

The Tuesday meeting was held in Tehran within the framework of an agreement signed by the heads of the two states.

The meeting was co-chaired by the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s director general for legal and international affairs and the Iraqi foreign minister’s advisor.

In the gathering, attended by the representatives of various Iranian and Iraqi ministries and organizations, the two sides discussed the general framework of the arrangements for dredging and clean-up of Arvand Rud, and agreed that the joint operational ideas would be submitted to the high-ranking officials of the two countries to be agreed upon and implemented.

Prior to the talks, the interim technical task force on dredging Arvand Rud had held a meeting, during which technical experts from the two countries held negotiations on a timetable for the operations regarding the clean-up of Arvand Rud, according to the Foreign Ministry’s official website.

Back in May, Iranian and Iraqi authorities signed the proceedings of a meeting that had been held to study the technical issues of dredging Arvand Rud.

Tehran and Baghdad have already signed an agreement to resolve disagreements over Arvand Rud based on the 1975 Algiers Accord, which deals with border issues and norms of good neighborliness.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

By Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Basra protests build in Iraq as sub-standard services persist

In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor, Iraqi Minister of Electricity Luay al-Khatteeb talked about the situation of Iraq’s electricity sector amid tense US-Iran relations.

He discussed the waiver timeline that Washington granted Baghdad to keep buying Iranian gas and mentioned his fear that some parties are politicizing the electricity sector in Iraq.

Click here to read the full story.

By Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Basra protests build in Iraq as sub-standard services persist

In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor, Iraqi Minister of Electricity Luay al-Khatteeb talked about the situation of Iraq’s electricity sector amid tense US-Iran relations.

He discussed the waiver timeline that Washington granted Baghdad to keep buying Iranian gas and mentioned his fear that some parties are politicizing the electricity sector in Iraq.

Click here to read the full story.

By John Lee.

Iraq and Iran have reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) relating to cooperation in the tourism sector.

According to Tehran Times, the document includes the areas of medical tourism and religious tourism, and was agreed between Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, and Iraq’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities.

In March, Tehran and Baghdad agreed to waive fees on visas in the hope of increasing the tourist numbers.

(Source: Tehran Times)

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq exports around 3.5 million barrels of oil a day.

Heightened regional tensions between the US and Iran and recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf have heightened security fears.

The government of Iraq is worried about the threat to its oil exports – and how its economy could suffer.

Al Jazeera‘s Charles Stratford reports: