TEHRAN, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made a phone call with his Iraqi counterpart Fouad Hussein, calling for expanding Iran-Iraq banking relations.
According to a report on Iran's Foreign Ministry's website on Friday, the two sides discussed the latest developments in the bilateral ties and highlighted the necessity of improving the gas transfer pipelines from Iran to Iraq.
They also talked about the implementation of a security agreement the two countries signed in March on ensuring security along the common border, as well as other regional cooperation.
Amir-Abdollahian thanked Baghdad for its cooperation in making payments for the Iranian Hajj pilgrimage from Iran's resources in Iraq.
In early March, Hamid Hosseini, the chairman of the Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce, said the United States has let Iraq release 500 million U.S. dollars of its debts to Iran.
Iraq is an importer of electricity and natural gas from Iran and owes the country over 10 billion U.S. dollars, as the U.S. banking sanctions forbid dollar transfer to Iran.
The United States, however, has allowed the Iranian money frozen in Iraq to be used for Iran's imports of goods not included in the American sanctions list and for other payments, such as settling the country's foreign debts. ■