Tehran Signs Pact to Rebuild Baghdad

A03966524.jpgTEHRAN (FNA) – Tehran on Monday signed an agreement with Baghdad to help execute projects in the infrastructure and services sectors in the Iraqi capital.

“The municipality of Tehran must stand by Iraqis in these hard conditions,” said Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, the mayor of Tehran, after signing a pact with Saber al-Isawi, director of Baghdad municipality.

Qalibaf said the municipality of Tehran aims to help its Baghdad counterpart in building roads and water projects and also constructing cultural and entertainment centers.

Isawi said the two municipalities have agreed to set up a company that would execute the projects.

The company would have offices in Baghdad and Tehran to coordinate the implementation of the projects, he added.

The agreement between Tehran and Baghdad comes ahead of the two-day visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Iraq which begins on March 2.

Ahmadinejad’s visit would be the first by an Iranian president to Iraq since the creation of the Islamic Republic after the 1979 revolution which ousted the shah regime.

Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein imposed an eight-year war on Iran in the 1980s, in which around one million people died.

But the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003 led to a marked improvement in relations with the new government in Iraq.

Commercial ties have blossomed and Iranian Shiites increasingly go on pilgrimage to the holy shrines in Iraq’s central cities of Najaf and Karbala.

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