Iranian Commerce Ministry estimates say trade with Iraq could reach $1 billion in the year to March 2006 in everything from fruit and vegetables to refrigerators and building materials. Goods worth $650 million were exported to Iraq in the first 10 months of 2005, official figures show. Many Iraqi business people say it is easier to get goods like vegetables from Iran than from some parts of Iraq itself.
Trade ties are much simpler now that Saddam, a Sunni Arab aggressively at odds with his Persian neighbours, is gone. Iran has long wanted to cooperate with Iraq by swapping crude oil and possibly developing joint border oil fields.
Oil aside, Iran has established a $1 billion line of credit to Iraq and also has a deal to export it about 200,000 tons of flour. Iraq and Iran are also beginning to rebuild trade along southern sea routes.