Iran eyes doubling Iraq trade to $8 billion in 2010

BASRA, Iraq Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:46pm EST

BASRA, Iraq (Reuters) - Iran hopes to double trade with Iraq to $8 billion this year, an Iranian diplomat said on Sunday, shrugging off Western-backed sanctions aimed at curbing business with the Islamic Republic.

Shi'ite Muslim Iran is the main trading partner of Shi'ite-led Iraq and has been one of the largest investors in Iraq since the fall of Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein.

A series of agreements between Baghdad and Tehran could boost bilateral trade between the two countries to $8 billion in 2010, up from $4 billion last year, Iran's consul in the southern oil hub of Basra Mohammed Reza Baghban said.

"We are sure that, if there are no obstacles in Iraqi-Iranian economic relations, bilateral trade between the two countries will be double what it was in 2009," he told reporters at an Iranian trade fair in Basra.

The main areas of trade between the two countries are the construction, food and industrial sectors.

The United States and its European allies have been trying to pressure Iran to suspend its disputed nuclear programme, which the West suspects is aimed at making bombs. Tehran says the programme is for peaceful purposes and will not be halted.

The Islamic state is currently under U.S. and U.N. sanctions.

Iraq wants to boost economic ties with its neighbors and attract investment to develop an infrastructure and economy battered by years of war, under-investment and sanctions.

(Reporting by Aref Mohammed; Editing by Rania El Gamal and Jon Boyle)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (10)
muchstardude wrote:
The US needs to own the Iraq oil. We spent $3 trillion on the pointless war there and the rest of the world hates America anyway. The US economy is in a tailspin and needs that money. I work for where I see why Americans are pulling their hair out over record home foreclosures and job losses. Storyburn has the most read home foreclosure story on the web. Several job hunting stories as well.

Feb 21, 2010 12:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
javier25 wrote:
nope, the rest of the world dont hate america, only USA.

Feb 21, 2010 1:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sidrock23 wrote:
muchstardude, if that’s the message u really want to send to the people of iraq, then go ahead and sign up for the military because the consequences of such stupidity will lead to the downfall of america. and stop posting up the same comment on every page having to do with iraq, we’ve already seen it like 5 times.

Feb 21, 2010 1:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.