Iranian media are saying the country has begun exporting gas to neighboring Iraq.

The Thursday report by the semi-official Fars news agency said the exports began late Wednesday through a pipeline straight to Baghdad. According to the report, the daily flow will start at around 7 billion cubic meters per day and eventually grow to 35 billion cubic meters per day.

The pipeline's inauguration came a day after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited Iran.

Iran and Iraq already have a second signed agreement to establish a gas pipeline to the southern city of Basra as well.

The two neighbors have been close allies since the fall of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003. They current conduct an estimated $13 billion in annual trade.