The number of Iranians working in Iraq has dropped from 20,000 to 5,000 since Baghdad stopped issuing work visas for the citizens of the Islamic Republic, says the Governor General of Kurdistan province, western Iran.
Bahman Moradnia has not elaborated on the reasons behind Iraq's decision to stop issuing work visas for Iranians.
Meanwhile, Moradnia said that the lack of transport infrastructure, including air routes, is the most important hurdle on the way of business and trade between Iran's Kurdistan and the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan, officially called the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Last week, the chairman of Iranian parliament's influential Commission of National Security and Foreign Policy, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh had cautioned against Iran losing its economic position in Iraq and being replaced by Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
Iraq is the second biggest market for Iranian exports and Iran’s ambassador in November had said that trade can reach $22 billion annually in the future.