Iran: Euro account to be opened for Iraq to pay its arrears
Iran's Minister of Energy Reza Ardakanian says a euro account is to be opened in Iraq in the coming days enabling Baghdad to secure its debts to Iran over electricity and natural gas purchases.
Speaking on the sidelines of the weekly cabinet meeting, Ardakanian said that previous and the recent debts of Iraq to Iran will be changed to Euros and will be deposited in the account.
Thus, the problems caused by the oppressive sanctions of the US will be eased to some extent and the account can be used for providing medicine and basic goods for Iran, he said.
Noting that payment of 700 million dollars of the debts is almost finalized, he added that the same account can be used for Iraq’s debts to Iranian private sector.
Iranian Energy Minister Ardakanian made a visit to Baghdad on Tuesday and was welcomed by Iraqi Electricity Minister Majid Mahdi Hantoush. It was his second visit to Baghdad in the current Iranian year (starting on March 12).
Ardakanian said in Baghdad on Tuesday that after a six-year halt Iran-Iraq Joint Economic Commission is to be reactivated in Tehran in a few weeks.
Speaking to the reporters, Ardakanian said Iraqi specialized delegations will participate in the Tehran meeting and Iranian private and public sectors will hold constructive consultations for developing bilateral relations, adding that the trip was made for expanding ties with Iraq in various fields.
Delegations from the Ministry of Industry, Mining, and Trade; Ministry of Agricultural Jihad; Ministry of Petroleum; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Central Bank of Iran accompanied Ardakanian during his visit to Iraq.
Arrangements for the upcoming Tehran-Baghdad Joint Economic Commission and regulating the payment of Iraqi debt to Iran were on the agenda of Ardakanian’s visit to Baghdad.