Souri noted that “Iran has been trying to make the most of the remaining relations it has with neighboring countries,” emphasizing the growing economic relations between Iran, Russia and India. Iran has been also trying to set up gas pipelines through Pakistan, despite the strong opposition on the part of the US. Moreover, the large commercial exchange between Baghdad and Tehran comes in this context.”
For her part, Nahida Daini, a member of the Economic Committee in the Iraqi parliament, said that it is very difficult for Iran to control the goods that are sent to Iraq, because of the “many exchange ports on the long border between the two countries.”
Speaking to Al-Monitor, Daini said that “what is more important than the ease of export is the nature of consumption in Iraqi society, as goods entering to Iraq are greatly consumed by the population, regardless of the quality.”
“There is something like a political veto on the application of a customs tariff in Iraq, as if politicians want to allow Iran and other countries to flood the local markets with goods in order to undermine the domestic industrial capacity,” she added.
Omar al-Shaher is a contributor to Al-Monitor’s Iraq Pulse. His writing has appeared in publications including France’s LeMonde, Iraq's Alesbuyia, Egypt’s Al-Ahaly and the Elaph website. He previously covered political and security affairs for Iraq's Al-Mada newspaper.