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Iran, Iraq agree on sealed road transport to boost trade

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran and Iraq agree on new measures that could lead to a major rise in bilateral trade.

Iran and Iraq are discussing new measures to expand their trade ties, a senior Iranian official has said, amid signs that the two countries will ease restrictions at borders to help boost shipments.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Mehdi Safari said on Thursday that trade between Iran and Iraq had increased by 10% year on year in the two calendar months to late May.

Safari said that officials in three provinces in western Iran and counterparts in Iraq’s Kurdistan region had agreed to set up joint companies to allow sealed road transport from Iran to Iraq.

He said the new arrangement will allow Iranian companies to supply their products, especially perishable food, directly to Iraqi customers without any need to change trucks at the borders with Iraq.

The diplomat said the transport mechanism could lead to a major rise in trade between Iran and Iraq.

Safari said Iran had also agreed to ease its restrictions on transit of Iraqi oil products via Iran’s port of Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf.

The comments came in a meeting in the city of Orumiyeh in northwest Iran where governors of border provinces of Iran and Iraq’s Kurdistan region discussed measures to expand trade.

During the meeting, senior Iraqi Kurdish officials said they have plans to open a new border crossing to Iran’s city of Oshnavieh to help boost bilateral trade.

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