By John Lee.

The Arar border crossing between Saudi Arabia and Iraq will reportedly officially reopen in October.

It was closed in 1990 following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

According to Gulf News, some pilgrims are currently being allowed to pass through the crossing to participate in next month’s Haj.

(Source: Gulf News)

By John Lee.

Bina Puri Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia’s Bina Puri Holdings Bhd, has successfully secured a new contract for the proposed dual-lane road from Al-Islah Junction to Al-Jabayish at Nasirya City, in Thi Qar [Dhi Qar] province.

The project, worth IQD87 billion ($73 million), includes the construction of 74.5 km dual lane road with 7 bridges ranging from 14m to 87m length, complete with all road accessories such as guardrails and street lighting, with work duration of 36 months.

(Source: Bina Puri)

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)

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 John Lee.

Ride-hailing company Careem is reported to be testing a new system that allows people in Iraq to book rides using WhatsApp.

According to al-Bawaba, WhatsApp penetration is as high as 80 percent in Iraq, a country with low internet connectivity and a high dependency on cash, so the new scheme simplifies the booking process, and provides an alternative for people who aren’t familiar with ride-hailing apps.

Careem entered the Iraqi market in January 2018, and recently started operations in Basra. It was bought by Uber for $3.1 billion in March 2019.

More here and here.

(Sources: al-Bawaba, The National)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Minister of Transport, Abdullah Luaibi [Abdul Allah al-Leibi], has said that Iraq is actively seeking to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative [“One Belt, One Road (OBOR)“].

In statements on Monday, the Ministry confirmed that the Minister met with China’s Ambassador to Iraq, Zhang Tao, to discuss the plan.

It added that Iraq wants to accelerate the process of joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

(Source: Ministry of Transport)

By John Lee.

Ride-hailing service Careem has reportedly started operations in Basra.

According to The National, the company, which currently operates in Baghdad and Najaf, also has a pilot project in Erbil.

Careem entered the Iraqi market in January 2018, and was bought by Uber for $3.1 billion in March 2019.

(Source: The National)

By John Lee.

Baghdad’s International Zone (Green Zone) is to be opened to traffic around the clock from tonight (Tuesday).

Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi told a news conference on Monday evening that the move showed that the government is convinced the security situation in Baghdad is improved.

The high-security zone is home to the Iraqi parliament and many embassies, including the US embassy.

(Sources: AFP, Reuters)

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

After decades, Iran, Iraq ready to Dredge the Shatt al-Arab

Hope of restoring a clean water lifeline to Basra province is on the rise again with plans by the Iraqi and Iranian governments to revive the Shatt al-Arab as a source of drinking water and improve its functioning as a trade route.

Click here to read the full story.