For a period of 4 months.. America renews its permission for Iraq to pay money to Iran in exchange for electricity

For a period of 4 months.. America renews its permission for Iraq to pay money to Iran in exchange for electricity


For a period of 4 months.. America renews its permission for Iraq to pay money to Iran in exchange for electricityTwo senior US State Department officials announced that Secretary Anthony Blinken signed the decision to extend Iraq’s exemption from sanctions imposed on Iran for a period of 120 days to pay electricity revenues imported from Iran.

The two officials explained that this extension is the twenty-first since 2018 and that Iran cannot “use funds restricted in Iraqi banks except for humanitarian and other transactions not subject to sanctions.”

One American official said, “In the past two years, we have witnessed that the Government of Iraq is making significant progress toward energy self-sufficiency. It is unfortunate that Iraq will not wean itself from imports of Iranian gas overnight. Renewing the exemption is necessary to provide space and time for the Government of Iraq to implement the Prime Minister’s ambitious agenda.” to reform the energy sector.

The American official stated that this measure “aims to reduce Iranian influence on Iraq. This does not mean any change in our policy towards Iran. Nothing has changed with regard to Iran. We will not lift any sanctions on Iran. We are not making any change that gives Iran any money or possibility.” “Different access to the money she already had.”

He added, “We saw that Iran was using the matter as a means of pressure to cut off electricity to Iraq and put pressure on them in ways that were truly harmful to our policy in the region, and still are, and our efforts to respond to Iran’s destabilizing behavior in the region. Therefore, at the request of the Iraqis, we were working to expedite the transfer of This money is transferred outside Iraq so that it is not exposed to Iranian pressure.”

Another official said, “There is a path in which we have coordinated closely with the Sultanate of Oman to allow the transfer of some of this money from Iraq to Oman through European correspondent banks.”

He stressed that “Iran will not have free access to these funds. There is very strict oversight. The Treasury Department has been involved in this process every step of the way.”

The two American officials revealed that the funds in the frozen Iranian accounts in Iraq amount to about ten billion dollars.

Regarding what some experts say is that Iran buys humanitarian materials and then sells them in the Iraqi, Syrian, and Lebanese markets to obtain funds, a US State Department official said, “I would say that we have maintained very close scrutiny of the transactions, and our colleagues in the Treasury specifically are the ones monitoring this and providing… We will take steps to prevent such transactions from continuing with any entities involved in this type of dynamic.”

Regarding the money that South Korea transferred to Iran via Qatar, which amounts to about six billion dollars and led to the release of American hostages from Iran in exchange for the release of Iranian prisoners from American prisons, an American official confirmed that this money has not been spent yet.

Speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity, the officials stressed that the money can only be used for “non-sanctioned transactions” such as purchasing food or agricultural products, according to Reuters.

They also sought to mitigate criticism, particularly from Republicans in Congress, by saying that giving Iran greater access to these funds frees up amounts that Tehran can spend on armed groups attacking US forces or on its nuclear program.

These amounts are estimated at about ten billion dollars from payments accumulated in Iraq.

The officials explained that their main goal is to reduce Iranian influence in Iraq. In the past, Tehran pressured Baghdad to obtain US permission to release these funds by halting natural gas exports to Iraq, which limited its ability to generate energy and caused power outages in the country, angering citizens.

This move may also be controversial because Washington asked Baghdad to curb attacks on American forces in Iraq launched by armed groups allied with Iran, and the results were mixed. One American official said that American requests to Iraq “are being worked on.”