Iraq intends to demand US to exclude it from sanctions against Iran

LEAD STORY: Iraq intends to demand US to exclude it from sanctions against Iran
2/4/2012 11:20 AM

BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: The Official Spokesman for the Iraqi Government, Ali al-Sabbagh, has said on Saturday that the economic sanctions, imposed by the United States on Iran, had created economic difficulties on Iraq, due to the economic and trade that links with its big neighbor, so Baghdad has decided to demand Washington to exclude it from those sanctions, according to a BBC report.

“There are very strong and distinctive relations between the private sectors in both countries, and Iran is one the main source for foodstuff and other products imported by the Iraqi market,” Dabbagh told an interview with the BBC, adding that “the size of trade exchange between both

neighborly countries exceed billions (b) of US dollars, covering state and private purchases.”
Dabbagh reiterated that “Iraq can’t be committed to oblige to those sanctions, as we are obliged to secure our interests,” adding that “Iraq shall present a demand during the forthcoming few days to the United States to exclude it from the sanctions system.”
“Baghdad is keen to implement the International Laws and it is committed to abide by other sanctions, imposed against Iran; but the new sanctions, that cover preventing the dealing with the Central Bank of Iran, is considered a special source of problem,” he said.
Dabbagh said: “We can’t stop our trade relations with Iran; so, we shall be affected by the sanctions that would be imposed on us in the event of our non-commitment to the sanctions,” in a hint to the Iraqi cash credited in the American banks, that exceed 60 billion (b) US dollars.
He also expressed anxiety by the Iraqi government of the escalation of tension between the Iran and the West, saying that “Iraq shall be one of the largest losers if Tehran would implement its threat to close the Strait of Hormuz.”
Noteworthy is that the United States, the European Union and other States, have decided to step up the sanctions imposed on the Central Bank of Iran and the Oil Sector in Iran, in an attempt to force the Iranians to abandon their “nuclear ambitions,” that the West believes that they aim to produce “nuclear weapons,” whilst the Iranians insist that they are aimed at peaceful purposes.