Zarif hails Bagh­dad’s ‘pos­i­tive stances’ on Tehran ties

Iran Daily - - National -

Ira­nian for­eign min­is­ter on Sun­day de­scribed Bagh­dad’s “pos­i­tive stances” on ties with Tehran as the main fac­tor be­hind strength­en­ing of re­la­tions be­tween the two neigh­bors.

Upon his ar­rival in Bagh­dad, Mo­ham­mad Javad Zarif hailed “pos­i­tive stances” adopted by the Iraqi of­fi­cials to­wards the uni­lat­eral sanc­tions reim­posed by the United States against Iran fol­low­ing its with­drawal from the 2015 nu­clear deal.

This is my first visit to Iraq af­ter the for­ma­tion of the new gov­ern­ment in the Arab coun­try, Zarif told re­porters, ac­cord­ing to IRNA.

“Dur­ing the Iraq visit, we will ex­plore the ar­eas of ex­pan­sion of re­la­tions and co­op­er­a­tion”, he said.

Fol­low­ing the vic­tory over the Daesh ter­ror­ist group in Iraq, some coun­tries, par­tic­u­larly the US, cre­ated ob­sta­cles in the way of ex­pan­sion of Tehran-bagh­dad co­op­er­a­tion with the aim of harm­ing re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries, but they failed to do it, Zarif said.

Zarif said US is a “los­ing horse”, ad­vis­ing the coun­tries not to bet on the “wrong horse”.

Iraq’s for­eign min­is­ter said re­cently that his coun­try is “not obliged” to abide by sanc­tions im­posed by the US against Iran and would be pur­su­ing op­tions to con­tinue bi­lat­eral trade.

On De­cem­ber 20, the US granted

Poland’s anti-iran sum­mit

Law­maker Ma­soud Goudarzi slammed the Pol­ish gov­ern­ment de­ci­sion to co­host a global sum­mit with the United States fo­cused on Iran, say­ing the move would badly af­fect bi­lat­eral ties.

“Our ties with Poland were good in the past, but the coun­try’s pol­i­tics are now af­fected by the US poli­cies, plung­ing our bi­lat­eral ties to a low level,” he re­gret­ted.

Goudarzi, a mem­ber of Par­lia­ment Na­tional Se­cu­rity and For­eign Pol­icy Com­mit­tee, added that invit­ing Is­rael to the meet­ing would “com­pletely over­shadow” Tehran’s co­op­er­a­tion with War­saw.

The law­maker said, “The poli­cies Bagh­dad a 90-day ex­ten­sion to a waiver on abid­ing by the sanc­tions that were reim­posed on the Is­lamic Repub­lic in Novem­ber.

Trade be­tween the two neigh­bor­ing coun­tries is thought to amount to around $12bn, while Iran pro­vides around 40 per­cent of Iraq’s elec­tric­ity needs.

Al­though Iraq faces pos­si­ble cen­sure of Poland, as a Euro­pean coun­try, should be in tune with those of the Euro­pean Union and not the US.”

Ties with Iraq

Law­maker Ali Ak­bar Karimi said Iran and Iraq need to ce­ment their ties, in par­tic­u­lar in the eco­nomic sec­tor.

“Iraq is one of our big­gest trad­ing part­ners. The coun­try is the des­ti­na­tion of most of the prod­ucts man­u­fac­tured in Iran,” he said.

Karimi, a mem­ber of Par­lia­ment Eco­nomic Com­mit­tee, noted the US sanc­tions on Iran prompt Tehran to ex­pand its re­la­tions with neigh­bors.

“We are re­quired to have more joint eco­nomic projects with Bagh­dad,” he by the US if it fails to cease its trad­ing with Iran by the end of the waiver pe­riod, For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­hammed Ali al-hakim said his coun­try could con­tinue re­la­tions with Iran.

“These sanc­tions, the siege, or what is called the em­bargo, these are uni­lat­eral, not in­ter­na­tional. We are not obliged (to fol­low) them,” he said, speak­ing to a gath­er­ing of jour­nal­ists added.

The par­lia­men­tar­ian said Iran and Iraq are try­ing to in­crease their an­nual trade vol­ume from cur­rent $13 bil­lion to $20 bil­lion.

EU de­lay panned

Law­maker Shahrouz Barze­gar crit­i­cized the Euro­pean Union for its re­peated de­lays to im­ple­ment a fi­nan­cial mech­a­nism, known as the spe­cial pur­pose ve­hi­cle (SPV), with Iran that aims to salvage the 2015 Iran nu­clear deal.

“Af­ter re­peated de­lays by the EU in im­ple­men­ta­tion of the SPV, we are not wait­ing for them any­more,” warned Barze­gar, a mem­ber of Par­lia­ment Na­tional Se­cu­rity and For­eign on Jan­uary 3.

The Ira­nian top diplo­mat added that he will meet Iraqi of­fi­cials dur­ing his visit and will at­tend three trade con­fer­ences at­tended by both coun­tries’ pri­vate sec­tors in the Iraqi ci­ties of Bagh­dad, Su­lay­maniyah and Kar­bala.

Man­agers and heads of dozens of ma­jor pri­vate and pub­lic com­pa­nies are ac­com­pa­ny­ing the for­eign min­is­ter. Pol­icy Com­mit­tee.

“Of course, we had eco­nomic talks with other coun­tries,” he said, adding “Iran’s main eco­nomic ap­proach is to have stronger eco­nomic re­la­tions with its neigh­bors.”

The EU’S mech­a­nism is a kind of clear­ing house that could be used to help match Ira­nian oil and gas ex­ports against pur­chases of the bloc’s goods in an ef­fec­tive barter ar­range­ment cir­cum­vent­ing the US sanc­tions, based on global use of the dol­lar for oil sales.

It is seen as the lynch­pin of Euro­pean ef­forts to salvage the nu­clear ac­cord, from which US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump — who took of­fice af­ter the pact was clinched — with­drew in May, call­ing it flawed in Iran’s fa­vor.


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