The Secretary-General of the Iraqi-Iranian Joint Chamber of Commerce said that the United States allowed the payment of $500 million of Iranian funds in Iraqi banks.
In a conversation with Iran’s Tasnim agency, Hamid Hosseini said regarding Iran’s funds frozen in Iraq that Iraq deposits Iranian electricity and gas funds in a bank account under the name of the National Gas Company, but that does not mean that Iran has access to these funds.
He added that Iran’s money is in a bank under US supervision, and only non-sanctioned goods are allowed to be imported, so that last year last March, $1 billion worth of goods were imported into Iran via this route, and Iran’s debt to Turkmenistan were also paying from these dues.
During the recent visit of the Iraqi Foreign Minister, the payment of $500 million of Iranian funds was authorized to be paid in Iraqi banks, the Secretary-General of the Iran-Iraqi Joint Chamber of Commerce said.
He explained that the Iraqi Foreign Ministry announced to the United States that we owe Iran about $18 billion, despite the head of the Central Bank of Iran announcing a lower number, and the figure of $10 billion has been announced in the past.
Regarding the reasons for the difference in the available statistics on the size of Iraq’s debt to Iran, Hosseini said that Iraq’s announcement of this amount of debt to Iran is due to the new electricity and gas money that has been added.
One way to release our money in Iraq faster is to invest in the country itself, which also leads to production, or coordination with Iraqi businessmen for imports, he said.
4,000 megawatts of Iraq’s electricity is supplied annually by Iranian energy, and this country cannot be left alone in this situation, “Of course, that doesn’t mean giving up our money,” Hosseini said.
He said: Iraq’s daily oil income is between 250 and 300 million dollars, and according to the United Nations resolution, these funds are first imported to the American Bank, and the Central Bank of Iraq is ordered to transfer these funds to Iraqi banks. Part of this income is also delivered in the form of banknotes.
That’s why the U.S. monitors this country’s foreign exchange market, but it’s worth noting that not all banking activities in Iraq are done through banks, and the foreign exchange route entering Iran cannot actually be closed,” he added.
Hosseini explained that the US intervention in the Iraqi currency market is actually a problem for the Iraqi businessman, increasing the cost of dealing with Iran by 10%.
With the new measures of the United States, no obstacle has been put in place to the entry of foreign currencies into Iran, because we have the strength of competition in exporting to this country, which has made the cost of transportation cheaper, and we can continue to export our products at a lower price, he said.