Iranian Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs Ali Majedi announced plans to start exporting natural gas to Iraq early next (Iranian) year (which will start on March 21, 2015). "Supplying gas to Iraq will start early next year after the completion of its pipeline," Majedi said on Monday. He said that the Iranian and Iraqi sides are making serious efforts to build the pipeline to expedite the transfer of Iran's rich gas resources to its Muslim neighbor. In relevant remarks earlier this month Mejedi had informed that the deal for export of gas to Iraq has been finalized, adding that laying the pipeline has been worked out and negotiations with the Iraqi officials are underway to initiate export of the Iranian gas to Iraq. Majedi made the remarks, referring to Iran-Iraq-Syria deal for exporting the Iranian gas to Europe via Iraq, Syria and the Mediterranean Sea. He said that implementation of the project halted due to lack of security in Syria for the Iranian technician, adding that when the situation in Syria becomes normal, the project will be implemented. Iran and Iraq have signed an agreement for the construction of a pipeline that will carry the Iranian natural gas to feed power plants in the Southern Iraqi province of Basra. The 56-inch pipeline originating from Assaluyeh, near the massive offshore South Pars Gas Field in Southern Iran, will continue into Iraq to feed three Iraqi power plants consuming gas. The pipeline will be designed in such a way that it will be able to deliver gas to other Muslim countries like Jordan, Syria and Lebanon in the future. Iran, which sits on the world's second largest natural gas reserves after Russia, is making efforts to raise its gas output by more foreign and domestic investments, specially in the South Pars gas field.