Iraq says it welcomes Iran’s participation in its reconstruction for which Baghdad aims to splash out $400 billion.
Iran is currently a key ally of Iraq in the region, where bilateral ties have seen a complete turnaround from sworn enemies under the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
Annual trade stands at $12 billion which the two countries plan to raise to $20 billion.
“The Iraqi government has envisaged $400 billion for rebuilding the country’s infrastructure in which Iran can have a significant share,” Iraq’s Deputy Commerce Minister Walid Habib al-Mousavi said in Tehran.
He made the comments in a meeting with Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh who called for serious efforts to expand bilateral cooperation.
The two sides discussed supply of foodstuff and other basic goods to Iraq as well as construction of refineries and cooperation in banking and auto industry sectors.
Netmazadeh expressed hope that Iraq could develop an “Arab brand of car with the cooperation of Iranian automakers”.
The minister said the two sides also agreed to accelerate cooperation between their central banks.
Iran plays a key role in Iraq’s reconstruction.The Islamic Republic also provides vital supervisory assistance to the Iraqi army to fight ISIL terrorists and drive them out of the Arab country.
The two neighbors have signed an agreement under which Iran would ultimately deliver 35 million cubic meters per day of gas to Iraq.
Iraq wants to feed the Iranian gas into three power plants in Baghdad and Diyala.
Initial deliveries of four million cubic meters per day of natural gas could begin as early as May depending on the security situation of Iraq which is battling an ISIL insurgency.