Iran discusses ways for using its frozen assets with Iraq

February 3, 2021 - 15:57

TEHRAN – The Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnaser Hemmati met with the Chairman of Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) Salem Chalabi on Wednesday to discuss ways for using the country’s assets in the mentioned country.

Iranian and Iraqi banking officials have repeatedly consulted in recent months on releasing Iranian assets in the Arab country.

Back in October 2020, Hemmati made a visit to Iraq during which the two sides reached an agreement to unblock Iranian assets in Iraq.

According to Hemmati, the assets, which are mainly electricity and gas export money, will be used to buy basic goods.

During the mentioned visit, Hemmati held talks with his Iraqi counterpart Mustafa Ghaleb, making headway in resolving the banking issues with neighboring Iraq.

Ghaleb said the Iraqi authorities are determined to resolve banking issues between the two countries.

The governor of Iraq’s central bank proposed that the two countries set up a joint committee to explore ways to resolve financial differences between the two countries.

“We do our utmost to continue the cooperation between the two countries. The existing problems related to Iran’s financial and monetary demands will be settled,” he said.

Hemmati also met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, after which the prime minister expressed satisfaction at the agreement and insisted that he would follow the issue on a weekly basis.

In the meeting, Hemmati called Iran-Iraq relations “very important” and said Tehran attaches great importance to the expansion of ties with Iraq.

Sharing a long border and an ancient cultural and religious heritage, Iran and Iraq have become strong economic and political allies since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and Iran has played a significant role in meeting the Arab country’s energy needs.

Iraq relies heavily on Iranian gas to feed several power plants across the country, while Iranian electricity exports also account for a major part of the country’s power supply. Iran currently meets nearly 30 percent of Iraq's daily need to 14,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity, while the country imports around 1.25 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) of gas through the pipeline.

EF/MA

Photo: The Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnaser Hemmati (R) and the Chairman of Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) Salem Chalabi

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