Frozen funds abroad… Will Iraq apply the “oil-for-food” equation with Iran?


Tehran- After Washington agreed to Baghdad’s request to release Iran’s financial dues for its gas and electricity exports to Iraq, there were conflicting accounts of the amount of money released, and whether it had entered Iran or was spent according to the “oil-for-food” equation?

And after the head of the joint Iranian-Iraqi Chamber of Commerce, Yahya Al-Ishaq, announced last Saturday that the Iraqi side had officially released $3 billion from Iran’s frozen dues to it; Diaa al-Nasseri, advisor to the Iraqi prime minister, revealed his country’s intention to release one billion dollars of Iranian funds.

In a tweet to him on Twitter reported by the Iraqi News Agency, Al-Nasseri wrote, “The total Iranian funds that Iraq has released since the government of Muhammad Shia’a al-Sudani took over so far is about $1.5 billion, in addition to another billion being released.”

This comes after Iranian reports said that Tehran will soon get 24 billion dollars from its frozen assets abroad, including 7 billion dollars frozen in South Korea, and 10 billion dollars in Iraq, and that Iran may get about 7 billion dollars in the form of low-interest loans. from the International Monetary Fund.

The reason for the difference

Regarding the reason for the difference in the Iranian and Iraqi accounts regarding the amount of Iranian funds released, we asked Hamid Hosseini, a member of the Board of Directors of the Iranian-Iraqi Chamber of Commerce, who confirmed the release of $2.6 billion during the last few years.

Hosseini explained to Al-Jazeera Net that the regional mediations between Iran and the western side in the files of the prisoner exchange and the nuclear program managed to win Washington’s approval in order for Iraq to release 2.6 billion dollars from Tehran’s dues to it, adding that after paying 1.6 billion dollars of it as financial dues to Turkmenistan for its exports from gas to Iran, Baghdad recently released another billion dollars.

Hosseini added that his country has allocated the last billion of frozen funds in Iraq to cover the needs of Iranian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia and to purchase basic commodities, stressing that the western side is reluctant to enter the released funds into Iran for fear of reaching the groups allied with Tehran.

Hosseini sees an end to the smuggling of gasoline outside the country and the adoption of electric cars as an appropriate solution to address the gasoline shortage in Iran (Al-Jazeera) copy
Hamid Hosseini confirmed the release of $2.6 billion in frozen funds during the past few period (Al-Jazeera)

balances amount

Regarding the amount of Iranian dues to Baghdad, Hosseini explained that the latest Central Iranian data estimates Tehran’s dues to Iraq at about $11 billion, while the Iraqi side talked about $18 billion during its discussions with the American side, attributing the reason to the accumulation of debt due to the country’s continued exports of gas and electricity. to its western neighbor.

For his part, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran, Mohammad Reza Farzin, revealed that there are about $100 billion in Iranian funds frozen abroad, calling for diplomatic action to recover and transfer them to the country.

In his reading of Tehran’s announcement of the amount of its frozen funds in a number of foreign countries, including Iraq, South Korea, China, Japan and the Sultanate of Oman, Hosseini believes that this is an indication that regional mediations and indirect negotiations between Tehran and Washington have reached positive results that may lead to agreements between his country and Western countries, not Especially the nuclear issue.

Food and medicine

For his part, a member of the Health Committee in the Iranian parliament, Humayun Najafabadi, spoke about the difficulties facing the entry of frozen Iranian funds into the country due to US sanctions, revealing Iranian-Iraqi negotiations to import food and medicine through the released funds.

In an interview with the Iranian parliament’s “Khaneh Melt” news agency, Najafabadi continued that foreign sanctions have negatively affected Iranian society, explaining that the non-subjection of foodstuffs and medicines to sanctions made them a way for the Iraqi side to pay Iranian dues.

For its part, the Persian-language newspaper “Etemad” quoted Iranian Oil Minister Javad Oji as saying that the Iraqi side puts the Iranian debts incurred by it in a special account in the Commercial Bank of Iraq, provided that Tehran uses these funds to purchase basic commodities that are not subject to US sanctions, such as medicine.

Hossein Ragfar described accepting the implementation of the principle of oil for food with Iran as a “disaster at the national level (Iranian press)

turn back

For his part, the Iranian economist Hossein Ragfar described accepting the import of food and medicine only through the released Iranian dues as a “go back” for two reasons: the first is that Iran is a primary source of goods to Iraq, and the second is that the release of frozen balances will not change the increase in the balance of the Sovereign Development Fund. of hard currency.

In his interview with Al-Jazeera Net, Raghfer criticized his country’s policies, both internally and externally, during the last three decades, explaining that the failure to work hard to heal the rift between the people and the ruling regime led to increasing external pressures on him.

He described accepting the implementation of the oil-for-food principle with Iran as a “disaster at the national level,” stressing that getting out of this situation requires the regime’s response to the people’s demands and serious work to meet them.

Meanwhile, the Iranian rial continues to improve against the US dollar, since reports spread about the release of billions of dollars of frozen Iranian funds abroad, as the price of the US dollar in the parallel market fell to 478,000 Iranian riyals until Monday, after it had touched the threshold of 620,000 riyals. last March.


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Frozen funds abroad… Will Iraq apply the “oil-for-food” equation with Iran?

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