Iran offers Iraq helping hand

Iran has offered to share its oil facilities with former foe Iraq and pledged a credit of $300 million at an international donors' conference to help rebuild the war-shattered country.

    Kharazi (R) says Iran will provide Baghdad more access to Persian Gulf

    Tehran's economic aid package included an "up to $300 million credit facility in buyers and suppliers' credit," Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said in Madrid on Friday.


    Iran's offer also includes "project financing for various priority sectors indicated by the Iraqi authorities, as well as provision of goods, equipment

    and services".


    The minister said Tehran would provide Baghdad "with more access to the Persian Gulf and other trade and transit corridors.”


    "Given the significance of energy supply in humanitarian as well as rehabilitation efforts, we stand ready to supply our electricity and gas to Iraq and to facilitate its oil exports through our oil terminals or enter into a swap arrangement that can amount to 350,000 barrels (of oil) per day,” Kharazi said.


    Joint ventures


    "We are also prepared to participate in oil and gas projects, bilaterally or through joint ventures with others and to invest in Iraq's financial sector," Kharazi said.


    Road, rail and air links will be developed to boost Iraq's transit potential, which will "generate revenues, job opportunities and contribute to the reconstruction of Iraq's infrastructure."


    In addition, a tourism package is "expected to initially bring in around $500 million in revenues each year by making necessary arrangements for travel of some 100,00 tourists per month to visit Iraqi cultural and religious sites," Kharazi said.


    Iran waged war with Iraq from 1980 to 1988 when Saddam Hussein ruled in Baghdad.



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