Iran’s exports to Iraq to hit $30 billion this year

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By Nidhal al-Laithi

Azzaman, October 22, 2014

Iran has emerged as a major supplier of commodities, energy and weapons as turbulence on its borders with Turkey, Syria and Jordan has suspended the flow of trade from these countries.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi is visiting Iran, heading a big delegation. Exploring ways of expanding the flow of Iranian commodities to Iraq has been at the top of Abadi’s agenda.

The deals under which Iran has been supplying Iraq with power and fuel have been extended indefinitely with Abadi agreeing to a surge in prices of Iranian exports.

Sources close to Abadi’s delegation said deals were struck to guarantee the flow of Iranian arms to Iraq. Under the new agreements, they said, the value of Iranian exports to the country will hit $30 billion at the end of 2014.

 Besides trade, the sides are reported to have discussed Iraq’s attempts to contain the threat posed by Islamic State (IS) militants to its existence as a state.

IS militants control large swathes of territory in north-eastern Iraq and recently Iraqi troops have been reported to be losing ground with the insurgents overrunning at least two military camps and intensifying their control over the strategically located Province of Anbar.

The sources said Tehran wants to persuade Abadi to become part of a new coalition against IS which Iran wants to lead and which will eventually include both Syria and Lebanon.

But the sources said Abadi has been reluctant to accept the offer, but has reiterated in Tehran that Baghdad would reject stationing foreign troops on its soil.