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Rouhani Receives From Baghdad First Installment of Electricity Debts

Rouhani Receives From Baghdad First Installment of Electricity Debts

Wednesday, 13 March, 2019 - 15:15
Iraq's President Barham Salih walks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a welcome ceremony at Salam Palace in Baghdad, Iraq, March 11, 2019. (Reuters/ Thaier al-Sudani)
Baghdad- Hamza Mustafa
Iran has received the first installment of US$200 million worth of energy and electricity exports to Iraq on the second day of President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Baghdad, Mahmoud Waezi, director of Rouhani’s office, said on Tuesday.

“This amount has been deposited in the [relevant] account,” said Waezei, who is accompanying the Iranian president on a visit to Baghdad, in an interview with Iranian television. The Central Bank of Iran has confirmed in a statement that it received the payment.

Meanwhile, Rouhani announced that Iraq had refused to cancel the visa for Iranian visitors. He said during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi in Baghdad that the Iraqi side still preferred to keep the visa, but without applying any correspondent fees, “which is a step in the course of facilitating relations between the two peoples.”

Iraqi economic expert Bassem Jamil Antoun told Asharq Al-Awsat that Iraq and Iran signed during Rouhani’s visit about 20 agreements in various economic, commercial, and political fields.

He added that Iran was the second largest exporter to Iraq, after Turkey.

Antoun called on Iraqi officials to “raise the slogan of ‘Iraq First’ so as not to turn the country into a mere market for the disposal of goods from neighboring countries.”

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