1150 GMT August 19, 2019
“Huge damage was inflicted on Iraq during the time of Daesh and we need Iran’s contribution to reverse the damage,” said Sa’ad Jawad Qandil while addressing a trade conference in Tehran, reported Press TV.
Qandil said US economic sanctions on Iran would be no deterrent to Iraq and its efforts to consolidate trade and business ties with its neighbor, insisting the two neighboring countries were “determined to weather the crisis”.
He said Iraq’s refusal to adhere to US sanctions on Iran was meant to compensate Iran’s support for Iraq which persisted until two years ago when the Arab country purged Daesh terrorists from its territories.
“As Iran was beside Iraq at the time of the Daesh insurgency, now Iraq will stand by its friendly and neighboring country during sanctions,” said the Iraqi ambassador.
In his speech, Qandil expressed hope that the value of trade between Iraq and Iran could increase from the current level of $12 billion and reach a target of $20 billion a year.
He said that the Iraqi Embassy in Tehran was ready to issue free-of-charge visas, which has been in place for Iranian pilgrims since last year. For businessmen, he said, the process would be carried out in the shortest time possible.
The envoy also called for setting up industrial zones in regions near the border between Iran and Iraq, saying the move would lead to economic developments in those areas.