Friday, July 12, 2024

Iranian official says Baghdad has released $10 billion of Tehran’s blocked assets

Yahya Al-e Es'haq, chairman of the Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce, has confirmed that the Iraqi government has released all of Tehran’s frozen assets, amounting to $10 billion worth of energy debts.

The funds have been deposited into an account at the Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) and will be utilized for the purchase of goods that are not subject to US sanctions, Al-e Es’haq announced on Monday.

Consequently, Iraq is no longer hindered in settling its debt arrears or conducting financial transactions with Iran, he noted.

The outstanding $10 billion debt owed by the Iraqi government was primarily for imports of natural gas and electricity, Al-e Es’haq explained.

The funds had been blocked as a result of US banking sanctions on Iran. Washington has previously issued several waivers to Baghdad, enabling it to release the funds.
Highlighting Iran’s significant regional standing, Al-e Es’haq affirmed Tehran’s commitment to capitalizing on trade opportunities with neighboring Iraq.

He said Iran and Iraq have the potential to double their trade volume to $20 billion in the coming years, up from its current level of just over $10 billion.

Furthermore, the official emphasized the pivotal role that the private sector could play in achieving $10-11 billion in bilateral trade with Iraq, covering various fields other than gas exports, electricity, and technical-engineering services.

Back in June, Iraq released $2.7 billion worth of Iranian funds in gas export money owed by the Baghdad government.

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