Iraq’s new Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim highlighted the importance of bilateral relations with Iran and said the Arab country cannot cut off its trade ties with the Islamic Republic due to the US sanctions.
Alhakim pointed to Washington’s economic sanctions against Tehran and said, the value of annual trade between Iran and Iraq amount to $12 billion, the Arabic-language Al-Manar TV reported.
“We are not in a situation that we would be able to stop our trade exchanges with Iran,” the Iraqi top diplomat noted.
Earlier, Luqman al-Fili, the official spokesman for Iraqi President Barham Salih, had said that the US sanctions against Iran are part of regional tensions.
It is necessary that the citizens of the region are not affected by the embargoes, Fili said, adding that Baghdad is ready to cooperate to decrease the tensions.
The second batch of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran took effect on November 5.
Iran and Iraq enjoy cordial political, security and cultural ties but due to some internal and regional problems including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL) terrorism in Iraq, they have not been able to increase their trade volume.
Iran’s main exports to the neighboring country include agro products, foodstuff and fruits such as watermelon, tomato and cucumber, which account for 37% of the total exports.
Other Iranian exports to Iraq include canned food, tomato paste, chicken, egg, meat, construction materials (mainly rebar, tiles and ceramics), steel and evaporative cooler.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)