Tehran, Iran, March 13
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has announced the start of Shalamche–Basra railway operation during his visit to Baghdad.
Speaking in a joint meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, Rouhani indicated that Iran is ready to help reconstruct Iraq with all its capacities, Trend reports citing IRNA.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Baghdad on March 11 amid his government's efforts to expand ties with Iraq to reduce the impact of US sanction on Iran's economy.
Rouhani and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi signed an agreement to connect the two countries via a railway linking the border town of Shalamche and Basra.
The 48 miles of track between them will allow Iran to transfer goods to southern Iraq and even longer distances via onward transit to the north. Along with the government in Damascus, the two countries had also previously agreed to connect Iraq and Syria by rail to allow Iran to export goods through the port of Latakia, on the Mediterranean.
"We have agreed on tariff issues, and we will also continue the negotiations to facilitate trade between two countries," said Rouhani.
Iran's president also spoke about the energy ties between the two countries.
"Iran will provide Iraq gas and electricity. We have also expressed readiness to export more electricity, we can also offer necessary facilities in the oil sector," he said.