A gas refinery in South Pars gasfield in Asalouyeh, Iran. Image Credit: AP

Cairo: Iran’s Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian Tuesday arrived in Baghdad for talks with senior officials on Iranian gas exports and outstanding debts owed to Tehran.

Iran has exported gas necessary for operating power plants in Iraq, which suffers from an electricity shortage. Iraq reportedly owes 5 billion dollars in debts to Iran worth gas supplies.

Ardakanian is due to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi and Governor of Iraqi Central Bank Mustafa Ghaleb.

Talks will focus on obstacles to electricity exports to Iraq and the debts owed to Iran, Iraqi media said.

The Iranian official met in Baghdad with Iraqi Trade Minister Alaa Al Jabouri, who discussed increasing trade exchange between the two neighbouring countries, the official Iraqi news agency INA said.

Ardakanian’s visit to Baghdad aims at discussing preparations for a meeting of a joint Iraqi-Iranian economic committee in Tehran soon, the Iraqi Trade Ministry said without details.

Al Kadhimi, who took office in May, has been at pains to steer Iraq clear of tensions between Iran and the US, which is a major ally of Baghdad.