The first tanker in 27 years was launched by the Iraqi Oil Tanker Company on Monday. Two more tankers are expected to be delivered within three months.
Officials announced that the Dijlah - the name for the Tigris river in Arabic - was inaugurated in the southern port city of Basra .
It was said that the Chinese-built ship -the 14,000-ton capacity -will help ease export problems Iraq has encountered as its beleaguered but vital oil industry begins to recover from years of war and neglect.
Basra's Gov. Mohammed al-Waili led the inauguration ceremony and said the Dijlah would help spur growth in Iraq's oil industry.
Iraq's fleet of oil tankers was battered by the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war and then by the first Gulf War.