Envoy: Iran to continue support for new Iraqi Gov’t

FNA – Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi congratulated the Iraqi speaker, president and prime minister for their election, stressing his country’s continued support for Iraq after the formation of the new government.

“Relations between the two countries are strategic, and Iran and Iraq are two highly important neighbors in the region. Iran will continue its full support for the new Iraqi government,” Masjedi said on Sunday.

He expressed confidence that political, economic, cultural, social, scientific and academic relations between Tehran and Baghdad would further expand in the future, adding that the traffic of both countries’ pilgrims will also increase.

Iraq is the second country after China in terms of trade volume with Iran. While exports to China are almost exclusively petrochemical products, Baghdad purchases a large variety of Iranian goods, helping to maintain high employment rates.

Iraq announced last month that it had officially removed the US dollar in trade with Iran by declaring a legal limit for passengers to carry along euros and not dollars into the Islamic Republic.

“Passengers would be allowed to carry along €10,000 or an equal value of any other foreign currency other than the greenback into Iran,” a statement by Iraq’s Customs Authority said.

The Customs Authority in its previous announcements had only cited US Dollar ceilings.

In a relevant development in early September, Iraq and Iran had abandoned the greenback in their mutual trade, giving way to the Euro and local currencies, as well as direct barter of goods.

“The US dollar has been removed from the list of currencies used by Iran and Iraq in their trade transactions and they are using Iranian Rial, euro and Iraqi dinar for financial transactions,” Head of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce Yahya Al-Eshaq said at the time.

Apart from switching from the US dollar to alternative currencies, Iranian and Iraqi merchants have been engaging in barter operations.