NAJAF — Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki yesterday said his country was ready to help Iraq with an economic investment plan totaling one billion dollars. "We are planning seven projects in the fields of oil, electricity, hospital construction and other services," he told reporters during his visit to the Shiite holy city of Najaf, south of Baghdad.
"The Islamic Republic has set aside nearly one billion dollars to help Iraq," he said, adding that Iranians were ready to come and implement the projects. He said the projects could be carried out in the southern Shiite provinces or the northern Kurdish ones. While in Najaf, Mottaki prayed at the Imam Ali shrine, one of Shiite Islam's holiest sites. He also met with a number of religious leaders, including Grand Ayatollah Ali al Sistani and cleric Moqtada al Sadr, who have a great deal of influence on Iraqi politics.