Iranian first VP: Iran keen to invest in Iraq’s Kurdistan

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi underlined the need for the expansion of bilateral ties between Iran and Iraq’s Kurdistan Region in all fields, saying Iran intends to seize the existing investment opportunities in that region.

There exist ample untapped capacities for economic cooperation in various fields between two nations, Rahimi said Sunday in a meeting with visiting Iraqi Minister of Urban Development in Iraqi Kurdistan Region Ahmad Abdullah Vazir, adding that Tehran is ready to expand cooperation and investment in Iraq.

He said that the religious and cultural commonalties along with political relations between the two countries have prepared the ground for resumption of new chapter of economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries.

The Iranian and Iraqi officials should spare no efforts to make use of existing opportunities and potentials in line with national interest of both sides, he said.

The Iraqi minister, for his part, referred to the bottlenecks in trade and customs requirements hindering trade cooperation and urged the Iranian and Iraqi officials to help remove the barriers to economic cooperation.

On Sunday, Iran and Iraq’s Kurdistan region signed an agreement to further expand mutual trade between the two sides.

Iranian Vice-President for International Affairs Ali Saeedlou said on Sunday that issues pertaining to joint investment, construction projects, transferring gas and electricity to Iraq and tourism were mentioned in the accord.

“Carrying out joint infrastructure economic projects with neighboring countries, particularly the friendly and brother country of Iraq, is one of the priorities of Iran,” Saeedlou added.

Iran and the Iraqi Kurdistan region have enjoyed growing ties ever since the overthrow of the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, during the 2003 US invasion of the Muslim country.

A senior Iraqi Kurdish official announced in July that the value of the trade ties between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan region will exceed $4bln this year thanks to the two sides’ growing cooperation.

“This year, the maximum value of our trade activities will exceed $4bln and such a boost is certainly the result of further cooperation,” Representative of the Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Nazzem Dabbaq told FNA at the time, adding that the value of bilateral trade ties with Iran was $100mln in 2000.

He voiced Kurdistan’s willingness to boost trade ties with Iran, and noted, “The present and the future of Iran and Kurdistan are tied to each other. They should always have continued contacts with each other.”

Also in July, Deputy Head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Barham Salih was in Iran to explore avenues for the further development of the bilateral relations between the two sides.

During the five-day trip, Salih discussed consolidation of PUK relations with Iran as well as the role, importance and expansion of Iraq’s ties with the Islamic Republic.

By Fars News


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