The Iranian energy minister says Iran and Iraq have reached an agreement under which Baghdad will pay for Iran’s energy sales to Iraq in euros in a bid to mitigate the problems caused by the US sanctions.
Speaking to reporters after a Wednesday cabinet session, Reza Ardakanian noted banks accounts will be opened for that purpose.
“The new agreement which was made and will hopefully be implemented in the coming days was to open bank accounts in euros for the National Iranian Gas Company and Iran’s Power Generation Company.”
“The debts that Iraq owes Iran will gradually be converted into euros and saved in these accounts,” he said.
The minister said Iraq is to pay part of its debts through the same accounts.
“We have received part of Iraq’s debts to Iran amounting to around $700 million. In other words, the process of allocating and depositing that money at relevant bank accounts has been done,” he explained.
“Through this path, we will naturally face fewer problems caused by the cruel sanctions imposed on Iran, and will have less expenditures on urgent needs, including the materials needed such as medicines and basic commodities. We will also have less problems with regards to paying our debts to the private sector and Iranian companies,” he explained.
He also said talks were held on Iraq’s overdue payments to Iran for energy imports.
“As for Iraq’s [overdue] payments to Iran for electricity and natural gas imports, we held intense and good talks and we reached written agreements.”
Ardakanian further touched upon his talks with Iraqi officials regarding the implementation of projects in the energy sector.
“We finalized almost two key projects, which include the Iranian companies’ cooperation to reduce [human] losses in Iraq’s electricity distribution network as well as to retrofit and repair damaged electricity equipment in Iraq,” he said.
“As a case in point, Iranian companies can restore more than 5,000 damaged transformers in Iraq. We hope action will also be taken to employ more manpower,” said the minister.