"The US, particularly given that this administration really is taking a very hard stance against Iran… is going to be upset, but I hope that Washington has some flexibility because Iraq cannot simply cut off all dealings with Iran," Al-Rahim said on Tuesday. "It’s just not possible for Iraq neither economically nor politically nor geographically. I do anticipate friction between Baghdad and Washington on this issue but hopefully we can resolve it."
"First of all, we have a 1,400-kilometer [around 870 mile] border with Iran, so, it’s impossible to close that border, and we have to import certain stuffs from Iran," Al Rahim said. "Secondly, Iraq imports refined fuels from Iran, not crude, and we need these refined fuels."
In addition, Iraq gets electricity from Iran because it is the closest place available, although the Saudis and the Kuwaitis are beginning to supply it, she said.
When asked about the US armed forces in Iraq Al-Rahim said she sees the need for a continued international military presence because the fight against the Daesh terrorist group is not over.
Al-Rahim said an international presence is also needed for things such as intelligence sharing and training on intelligence gathering.
Since the United States withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal in May and announced the reinstatement of all the sanctions against Iran, Washington has been calling on importers of Iranian oil to stop buying it by November 4 — the date when the second package of US sanctions against Iran is set to be imposed.
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