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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s anti-Iranian Rhetoric

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The administration of the US President, Donald Trump, is currently using severe economic sanctions in an unsuccessful, and illegal, attempt to pressurize Tehran into dismantling its rocket program, and weaken its regional influence. The present US leadership is not trying to hide its implacable opposition to any form of political contacts, trade or cultural links between Iran and its neighbors. Washington reacted in an almost hysterical manner to the very successful recent visit to Iraq by Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian President, which was entirely devoted to talks on trade and investment. The volume of trade between the two countries currently amounts to $12 billion a year, and there is every reason to believe this will increase to $20 billion, which would be very welcome for Tehran, given the severity of the US sanctions.

And although the harsh sanctions are aimed at restricting Tehran’s relations with other countries in the region, and despite the fact that Washington is taking great pains to impose so-called secondary sanctions on countries which trade with Iran, the latest statistics show that things are actually moving in the opposite direction: Tehran, blocked off from international markets, is starting to focus on its close neighbors. The recent fall in the value of the riyal means that Iranian goods and services are now much more competitive. As a result, Iraq has been able to overtake China as Iran’s main export market for all goods except for oil.

According to IRNA, the Iranian news agency, as a result of Hassan Rouhani’s successful visit to Iraq the two countries signed 22 agreements on trade and cooperation in industrial projects. The agreements are aimed at increasing trade between Iran and Iraq. The new agreements cover such matters as the development of cooperation between border provinces of both countries, the reduction of trade tariffs, and the simplification of the visa regime for citizens of the two countries. The Iraqi Minister of trade, Mohammad Hashim al-Ani, has announced that under the new agreements a number of........

© New Eastern Outlook