Mohammad Mokhber, Iranian First Vice President, made the comments in a meeting with the visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Tehran on Sunday.
The Iranian vice-president stressed the use of capacities and potentialities in the two countries to expand bilateral ties, especially in the economic field, and said that Tehran and Baghdad can expand their relations more than before by relying on these capacities.
He expressed his unhappiness with the trade level between the two countries, saying that the implementation of bilateral agreements can enhance bilateral trade relations.
Referring to the engineering capabilities of Iran’s private and public sectors, Mokhber vowed Iran’s readiness to play a role in the reconstruction of Iraq and said, “Political relations between the two countries will definitely stabilize and solidify with the expansion of economic relations.”
Elsewhere, he pointed to the US military presence in Iraq and said that “The presence of the Americans is of no benefit to the countries of the region and is an absolute loss.”
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, for his part, said that there are broad grounds for increasing relations between the two countries.
Referring to the importance of the Khorramshahr-Basra railway project, which could connect the Chinese railway network to the Mediterranean, Mustafa al-Kadhimi said, “Creating grounds and infrastructure such as roads can strengthen strategic cooperation between the two countries and fulfill the dream of Mashhad – Karbala -Najaf highway.”
He added that Baghdad opposes oppressive sanctions against Iran and tries to live up to all its commitments to Iran.
Referring to Iraq’s need for the capabilities of Iranian companies to develop and complete the reconstruction process, the Iraqi prime minister said “Iraq needs Iranian gas and electricity, and we declare that the doors of Iraq are kept open to Iranian companies.”
In the end, the Iraqi premier announced that the Iraqi government will increase the quota for the Iranian pilgrims who are going to travel to Iraq for this year’s Arbaeen procession.