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Iraq Signs Historic Trade, Construction and Energy Deals With Iran

Deals follow Iranian president Rouhani's first visit to Baghdad this week

The historic first visit to Iraq for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been concluded with the two countries signing a number of key agreements to boost economic and political ties, with the countries aiming to increase trade from $12 billion to $20 billion per year.

The memorandums of understanding cover a range of sectors including transport, construction, oil and health with the two countries planning to construct a railway line connecting Iraq's southern city of Basra to the Iranian city of Shalamjah. 

In addition, banking difficulties between the two countries have been addressed with solutions in place to facilitate payments of oil and gas exports in different currencies to the US dollar, supporting Iran under existing U.S. sanctions.

Iraq has also made an initial payment to Iran for its gas and electricity imports, with this payment having been delayed since U.S. sanctions were implemented against Iran last year.