An American official told Reuters that Secretary of State Anthony Blinken signed a new exemption related to national security allowing Iraq to Paying the cost of electricity to Iran It allows for the first time to deposit payments in accounts in non-Iraqi banks.
The official, who spoke on the condition that his name and position not be disclosed, added that the US hopes the 120-day waiver will help.In easing Iranian pressure on Iraq” In order to get Funds that could previously have been deposited In restricted accounts in Iraq only.
According to “Reuters”, Tehran is pressuring Baghdad to obtain US permission to disburse funds by stopping Iranian natural gas exports to Iraq, which reduced its ability to generate electricity and forced it to cut off electricity during the sweltering summer.
Under US sanctions, Iraq’s payments for Iranian electricity can only be disbursed from accounts restricted in Iraq – with US permission – for Iran to purchase its humanitarian needs.
The US State Department expanded the scope of the latest exemption, at the request of the Iraqi government, to allow funds to be deposited with banks outside Iraq, apparently hoping that part of the Iranian pressure would transfer to other countries, according to Reuters.
The new exemption allowed Iraq to deposit Iranian electricity payments into restricted accounts in banks outside Iraq. But Iran is still
It needs US permission to get that money and can only dispose of it for humanitarian purposes.
The US official said that Washington hopes that the new exemption will ease Iranian pressure on Iraq by transferring that pressure to countries where intermediary banks are located.
“We have to help the Iraqis face this constant pressure from the Iranians to access the funds,” he added, noting that Washington expanded the exemption at Baghdad’s request.
“The Iraqis asked and now we have agreed to expand the scope of the exemption,” he added, noting that this might help ensure better compliance with the US requirement that the money go to humanitarian purposes.
And he added, “It also helps the Iraqis, at least to some degree, to have an alibi (in front of Iran), as they have no control over the money they paid (in non-Iraqi accounts).”
Iran faces wide-ranging US sanctions that were re-imposed in 2018 after then-US President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal that Tehran reached with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States in 2015.
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