March 29, 2023

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Iran, Iraq owe booming trade to Soleimani: Businessman

A businessman says booming Iran-Iraq trade is a result of slain General Soleimani’s strategic thinking.
A major Iranian businessman says Lieutenant General Ghassem Soleimani was key to growing trade relations between Iran and Iraq, saying if it was not for the strategic thinking of the slain general the two neighboring countries would have never been able to expand economic ties to the current level.

“General Soleimani had a major role in raising the number of trade crossings as well as in Iran’s energy exports to Iraq,” said Hamid Hosseini, a former chairman of Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce, on Thursday.

Hosseini’s comments come as Iran prepares to mark the first anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination by US forces in Iraq.

Soleimani was a popular figure in Iraq mainly because of his role in the successful expulsion of terrorist elements from the Arab country.

Hosseini said Soleimani’s strategic view was that booming trade between Iran and Iraq would cement political ties between the two nations.

That was why the slain general intensively lobbied with the Iraqi government authorities to increase the number of official border crossings, he said.

Iran currently has 10 border crossings with Iraq, far ahead of other neighboring countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia whose trade with Iraq is processed through single crossings.

Hosseini said Soleimani was also instrumental in an initiative to set up markets in 18 locations on the border with Iraq, a move which caused a major boom in the volume and value of trade exchanges between the two countries.

The businessman said that the slain general had ordered the creation of a special headquarters to further expand economic relations between Iran and Iraq, especially in areas of energy exports, religious tourism and renovation schemes for holy shrines in the Arab country.  

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