Iranian Regime Gradually Expelled From Iraq Import Market
NCRI - According to board member of Iranian regime’s Exporters Association, the conditions for exporting Iranian goods to Iraq are deteriorating every day.
An activist in the field has recently complained about Iraqis’ “discriminating and unfair” treatment with Iranian exporters.
Contrary to what Iranian businessmen and exporters expected, exporting goods as well as technical and engineering services to Iraq is apparently facing new challenges every day, so much so that the country’s 32-million market is gradually being lost.
“Iranian businessmen are by no means in a good position to compete with other countries, including Turkey”, says Mostafa Mousavi, board member of regime’s Exporters Association.
Also in this regard, vice chairman of Iran-Iraq chamber of commerce ‘Shaban Foroutan’ had pointed out in his last year’s interview with state-run Taamol newspaper that given the two countries’ long common border as well as religious similarities, Iraq should naturally be Iran’s first trade destination, adding “unfortunately, we couldn’t establish ourselves in some areas in Iraq and move forward. Maybe some countries like China and Turkey are ahead of us in this regard.”
Iranian regime’s need for exports to Iraq
In his September 10 interview with state-run ILNA news agency, board member of regime’s Exporters Associations describes the conditions for exporting to Iraq even much worse than previously stated, saying “unfortunately, the status of our exports to Iraq is deteriorating every day, so that we’re in a position today that Iraq doesn’t need us anymore. Rather, it’s us who need them.”
“While preferential tariffs for importing cement from Jordan and Saudi Arabia to Iraq is zero and 15 percent respectively, the figure is 50 percent for importing the same item from Iran”, says Mostafa Mousavi.
Earlier, Bahman Salehi, CEO of Iranian regime’s Water & Power Equipment and Services Export Company (SANIR), had said in his September 5 interview with state-run IRNA news agency “Iraqis don’t treat Iranian businessmen and merchants the way they treat those from other countries like the United States, China, Turkey, and South Korea. Instead, they treat in such a way as if Iranians owe them a lot.”
Salehi refers to Iraq as Iran’s sphere of influence, saying “although Iraq has a favorable market and very good conditions, but Iraqis easily assign their projects to non-Iranian companies.”
Despite Iranian regime’s extensive financial, arms, and military support of Iraq’s Shiite government, numerous reports of the country’s discriminating behavior towards Iranian businessmen have been released over the past few months.
Iraq has recently stopped issuing its six-month trade visa for Iranian businessmen. The country has also imposed much heavier import tariffs on Iranian goods compared to those imported from other countries.
While referring to Iranian regime’s intervention in Iraq as combating terrorism, chairman of Iran-Iraq chamber of commerce ‘Hamid Hosseini’ had earlier told IRNA “it was expected that due to Iran’s widespread support of fight against terrorist groups in Iraq, the country’s officials seek to develop their relations with Iran for post ISIS era. But Baghdad is throwing a monkey wrench in the works, so that we see instead of preparing for Iranians’ ever more presence in Iraq’s rebuilding process, the conference on rebuilding Iraq is held in Kuwait.”
From fall last year, Iraq has tripled tariffs on import of Iranian goods, so that Iranian businessmen have to pay an average $20 for every exported ton. This has practically stopped export of such goods as cement, which used to account for a significant share of Iran’s export to Iraq.