Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Description of Selected News

Description of Selected News: "Untapped Potential of Iran-Iraq Economic Cooperation


Iran and Iraq could become two significant and exemplary economic partners in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East.

Their extensive economic strength and their warm neighborly relations can enable the two countries to establish a major pole of economic development in the Middle East and thus exert a significant and positive influence on the region as well as guarantee their own economic growth.

In order to achieve this goal, Tehran and Baghdad should not allow foreigners to create dissension between the two countries or prevent the expansion of bilateral and regional ties, as Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi pointed out.

Speaking in the opening ceremony of the conference entitled Opportunities for Iran and Iraq Economic Cooperation on August 1, Kharrazi stressed that Iran has made every effort to establish peace, stability, and security in Iraq and added that it would continue following the same policy in the future.

A high-ranking delegation of Iraqi interim government officials and economic, political, and industrial experts led by Iraqi Economy and Finance Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi arrived in Tehran to attend the conference.

The Iraqi economy minister said he believes that the conference will prepare the ground for the restoration of Tehran-Baghdad ties and help revive friendly relations between the two countries.

In fact, Iran and Iraq both possess excellent economic and geographic facilities, and you can not easily find two other neighboring countries with similar capabilities anywhere in the world.

Construction of a Basra-Abadan pipeline and the implementation of a swap deal, in which Iraq would supply 350,000 barrels of crude oil per day to the Abadan Refinery and Iran would in exchange export Iranian crude on Iraq's behalf from the Persian Gulf, would increase Iraq’s oil exports.

Connecting the two countries’ electricity network could also become another area of cooperation which could help solve Iraq’s electricity supply problems.

In the transportation sector, Iran and Iraq would be able to create one of the biggest and most important links in the Middle East and Persian Gulf regions, especially in light of the fact that Iran is the easiest and most economical link to Central Asia and the Caucasus.

In addition, encouraging Iranian tourists to visit Iraq could generate hundreds of millions of dollars of revenues for the country.

However, the two countries must defend themselves against the biased and unilateralist policies of certain foreign countries in order to expand Iran-Iraq ties in all areas.

The two countries should also make every effort to actualize the untapped potential of Iran-Iraq economic cooperation."

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