On Saturday, the sixth of April 2019, the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani had called for expanding electricity and gas deals between Iraq and Iran, aiming to boost trade as little as $20 billion despite deep difficulties amid a us sanction on Tehran, an Iranian state television report revealed on Saturday (April 6th).
However, in March, the Trump Administration had granted a 90-day sanction exempt to Iraq, allowing Baghdad to continue trading with its neighbors. Followed by a meeting with visiting Iraqi PM Adel Abdul Mahdi, Rowhani said in a television broadcast, “Plans to export electricity, gas and perhaps oil are also continuing and we are ready to expand these contacts not only for the two countries, but also for other countries in the region.
We hope to achieve our plans to expand the volume of trade and increase it to 20 billion dollars in a few months or a few years”. According to Iranian media reports, the trade volume between Iran and Iraq stands at $12 billion at present, and Rowhani expressed optimism that an advancement would be beginning in a few months, as Iran had been planning to build a railway linking two neighboring countries, apparently as a show-off to United States that Tehran’s influence on Iraq and other Gulf countries had little changed following US sanctions.