Date :Thursday, February 7th, 2019 | Time : 22:48 |ID: 85722 | Print

Iraqi PM: Baghdad won’t be part of US sanctions on Iran

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SHAFAQNA- Iraq will not be part of U.S. sanctions against Iran, Said Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdol-Mahdi on Wednesday.

Iraq “will not be part of the U.S. sanctions against Iran or any other people”, Abdul-Mahdi said during a meeting with the Governor of Iran’s Central Bank Abdolnaser Hemmati, according to a statement issued by the PM’s office.

“The Iraqi people have suffered from blockade and know the damage caused by the siege,” he said.

This is the first time the Iraqi premier spoke publicly about opposing U.S. sanctions against Tehran.

Hemmati arrived in the Iraqi capital on Tuesday to discuss banking relations and payments backlog related to Iran’s gas and electricity exports to the Arab country, he wrote on his Instagram account.

Abdolnaser Hemmati conferred with the Iraqi prime minister on the latest situation of banking and monetary relations between the two countries, IRNA reported.

He expressed his hope for further cooperation between Baghdad and Tehran, AA mentioned.

Hemmati and his accompanying delegation also met the Iraqi President Barham Saleh, who called for the removal of barriers to economic and commercial cooperation between the Iranian and Iraqi private and public sectors.

The Iraqi President expressed his satisfaction with the agreement reached between the central banks of the two countries on Tuesday.

Iran and Iraq agreed on a payment mechanism that will enable the two neighbors to do business in the face of US sanctions on Tehran, Iran Daily reported.

The mechanism was discussed in a meeting between Hemmati and his Iraqi counterpart Ali Mohsen Ismail al-Alaq in Baghdad and the details were signed off on a document Tuesday night.

On Tuesday, Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh summed up the tricky situation.

“Every month, $200 million worth of Iranian gas is exported to Iraq which does not pay it, saying you are under sanctions. At the moment, we have $2 billion owed by Iraq for the gas and electricity sold to the country,” he said.

Iraq has imported 1,000 megawatts of electricity from Iran for years to cope with energy shortages.

Nevertheless, Iraq relies on Iran for electricity and consumer goods and trade ties are still strong.

The U.S. in August had re-imposed the first round of economic sanctions on Iran, which mainly target the country’s banking sector.

In November, Washington imposed a second round of sanctions, targeting Iran’s energy sector.

Washington had exempted Baghdad from sanctions against Iran and allowed it to import gas and electric power.

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