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12 March 2019 Iranian President Rouhani visits Iraq

On 10, 11 and 12 March the President of Iran held an official visit in Iraq. During the meeting between Rouhani and his Iraqi counterpart Barham Saleh, the two leaders confirmed their intention to intensify relations between Teheran and Bagdad. They signed several Memoranda of Understanding on issues such as oil, trade, health, and rail transit.  The final statement published on Tuesday by the official Iranian news agency IRNA, reported that the two countries will establish free of charges visas for tourism pilgrimage and trade from April onward. Furthermore, the two parts agreed on a draft security agreement on cooperation in fighting against terrorism. Iraqi officials also invited Iranian companies to invest in the country and urged the same for Iraqi firms that want to expand their market in Iran. A senior Iranian official, speaking with news agency Reuters, stated that Iraq for Tehran is “another channel for Iran to bypass America’s unjust sanctions”.