Iraq is pushing ahead with a high speed rail scheme.
Alstom in France has concluded a memorandum of understanding to progress plans for the line which will connect Basra and Baghdad.
After feasibility studies and cost analysis the new high speed line could be under construction in two years time.
Basra is approximately 280 miles south-east of Baghdad.
The high speed line would run trains at 155 mph. French transport minister, Thierry Mariani, is to visit Iraq this autumn to back the deal.
France plans to double its already extensive domestic high speed rail network over the next ten years.