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Tue Mar 12, 2019, 02:19 AM

Iran's Rouhani Signs Trade Pacts in Iraq to Help Offset US Sanctions


Reuters
By Ahmed Rasheed

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq and Iran signed several preliminary trade deals on Monday, Iraqi officials said, as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani began his first visit seeking to bolster Tehran's influence and expand commercial ties to help offset renewed U.S. sanctions.

The deals, among them a plan to build a railway linking the neighbors, emerged soon after the start of Rouhani's visit, meant to underline that Tehran still plays a dominant role in Iraq despite U.S. efforts to isolate the Islamic Republic.

Iran and Iraq fought a devastating 1980-88 war but the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that ousted Saddam Hussein prompted a long Sunni Islamist insurgency during which Iran's regional sway rose at the expense of the United States.

Rouhani and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Mahdi signed several memorandums of understanding, Abdul Mahdi's office said in a statement. They included agreements on oil, trade, health, and a railway linking the southern Iraqi oil city of Basra and the Iranian border town of Shalamcheh.

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https://news.yahoo.com/irans-rouhani-begins-official-visit-iraq-hopes-better-053826638.html

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