Source: Press TV
Iraq's Ambassador to Tehran Mohammed Majeed al-Sheikh says Baghdad and Tehran seek to increase their trade exchanges to USD 10 billion in the near future.
Trucks parked at the Mehran border terminal, western Iran, waiting for passage into Iraq.
"Given the amicable and brotherly relations between Iran and Iraq and hundreds of kilometers of common border, the two neighboring countries enjoy great potentials for raising their current volume of trade exchanges," Sheikh told IRNA on Sunday.
He went on to say that Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Rosh Nuri al-Shawish will pay a visit to Tehran at the head of a high-ranking economic delegation on Tuesday to hold talks with Iranian officials on ways of strengthening bilateral trade and economic cooperation.
The envoy added that one of the objectives of the upcoming visit to Tehran is to discuss the inauguration of an Iraqi bank in Iran, which can play a prominent role in promoting economic and commercial relations.
Pointing to the US administration's recent imposition of sanctions against a Chinese and an Iraqi bank over their handling of transactions with Iran, Sheikh stated that Iraqi officials have made it clear to the US authorities that Baghdad cannot halt its imports from Iran, particularly power imports.
He added that efforts are ongoing to remove the US sanction on the Iraqi bank.
On July 31, the Obama administration announced additional economic sanctions against Iran's crude exports sector as well as the Chinese Bank of Kunlun the Elaf Islamic Bank in Iraq over their alleged involvement in arranging transactions worth millions of dollars with Iranian banks that were already under illegal US-led sanctions.
At the beginning of 2012, the US and the EU approved new sanctions against Iran's oil and financial sectors. The embargoes aim to prevent other countries from purchasing Iranian oil or transacting with the Central Bank of Iran.
Washington and the EU have declared that the bans are meant to force Iran to abandon its nuclear energy program, which they claim may include a military component.
Iran has vehemently refuted the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to utilize nuclear technology for peaceful objectives.
Pakistan wants to boost trade with Iran to $10b
ISLAMABAD (Business Recorder) - Pakistan's Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said that Islamabad will go ahead with its multibillion-dollar projects with Iran, calling for immediate steps to lift the ceiling of bilateral trade to $10 billion.
According to a private Radio channel, in a meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Islamabad Alireza Haqiqian, the Pakistani prime minister said the two neighboring countries should ensure the expeditious implementation of bilateral projects including the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project as well as electricity projects.
Tehran and Islamabad have repeatedly stressed the importance of constructing the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline despite pressure from the United States.
The multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline is aimed at exporting a daily amount of 21.5 million cubic meters of the Iranian natural gas to Pakistan.
Iran has already constructed more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil.
The Pakistani prime minister further said that his country's relations with Iran were deeply rooted in historical, cultural and religious levels.
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