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Iraq, Iran consider removing dollar from bilateral trade: envoy

Iraqi Ambassador to Iran Sa’d Javad Qandil said his country and Iran are considering mechanisms to use local currencies in their bilateral trade to reduce reliance on the U.S. dollar, Mehr news agency reported.

The two neighbors are holding talks to find the best way to facilitate their financial transactions, the ambassador noted.

The Iraqi diplomat once again reiterated his government's clear stance against the U.S.’ unilateral sanctions against Iran, saying such restrictions are against the international rules and regulations.

Noting that the bilateral trades between Iran and Iraq have not been affected by the sanctions in the past year, Qandil expressed his country's readiness to increase the level of cooperation with Iran in various economic spheres.

Iraq is currently Iran’s biggest trade partner and the two countries have been taking significant steps to improve their mutual trade over the past few years.

In early February, central banks of Iran and Iraq reached an agreement to set up a payment mechanism to facilitate banking ties and boost trade between the two countries.

In the meeting, Central Bank of Iran Governor Abdolnasser Hemmati who visited Iraq to discuss expansion of banking relations, expressed hope that the trade balance between the two neighboring countries would increase even more.

In early May, officials from the two countries held a meeting in Tehran to discuss establishing an Iran-Iraq trade committee.

According to Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO), in the meeting, the two sides discussed several issues including joint investment and establishment of industrial zones, facilitating the transit of goods, facilitating business travels, organizing pilgrimage and health tourism, as well as solving the existing problems regarding mutual trade.

Iran’s exports to Iraq have increased by 37 in the last Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20) and the two neighbors have it on agenda to boost their mutual trade to $20 billion by 2021.

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