Mohammad Hashim al-Ani in a meeting with Iran's Ambassador to Iraq Iraj Masjedi, referred to the upcoming visit by Iran's Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Reza Rahmani to his country, saying that development of bilateral relations in the economic, investment and trade fields will be discussed, reported Fars News Agency.
He hoped that the two neighbors would boost trades and economic relations.
Referring to the unilateral US sanctions on Iran, the Iraqi official reiterated his government's support for the Islamic Republic, saying Iraq will not abandon Iran under pressure.
Masjedi expressed gratitude to Iraq for making every effort to deepen relations with Tehran, saying, the Iran's private sector is ready to broaden the scope of its activities and cooperation with Iraqi partners in all economic sectors.
Earlier in mid-November, Advisor to the Iranian Parliament Speaker Hossein Amir-Abdollahian hailed efforts to restore Iran-Iraq relations after the fall of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, saying that the Islamic Republic managed the developments in Tehran-Baghdad relations, turning Iraq from an actual enemy to a strategic ally.
Referring to the visit by Iraq's President Barham Salih and his entourage to Iran, Amir-Abdollahian said, "President Salih has a long-standing friendship with Iran and a great understanding of the nature of ties between the two countries; he has also been among the people who have always been successful in developing and consolidating relations between the two countries since the fall of Saddam Hussein."
The most important message of the Iraqi President Barham Salih's visit to Iran was that Iraqi government and people appreciate the support of the Islamic Republic of Iran, he noted.
In a related front, earlier in October, President Salih voiced his country's willingness to broaden relations with Iran, and said it is in Baghdad's best interests to have friendly and stable ties with Iran.
"Iran is a neighboring country and our interest lies in maintaining good and stable relations with Iran," Salih told reporters during a visit to Kuwait.
The Iraqi president pointed to age-old relations between Baghdad and Tehran, and said, "There are vast areas that the two countries can increase their cooperation."
Iran is currently Iraq's top trade partner, with an annual turnover standing at about $12 billion.
Foodstuff, livestock, construction materials and plastic products constitute the bulk of Iran's exports to Iraq where Iranian vehicles and food items are a ubiquitous sight.