An official of the Iran-Iraq chamber of commerce has denied reports by the Iranian state-run media that Iraq has released Iran’s funds blocked by US sanctions.
Speaking to ILNA on Saturday, Hamid Hosseini, a member of the board of directors of the Iran-Iraq chamber of commerce, said that there is no new development in banking relations to release Iran’s funds blocked at Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI).
Eelier in the day, websites close to the government published a letter by the Iranian Industry and Trade Ministry asking all associations of food, pharmaceutical and health industries for a list of priorities to import from Iraq using Iran's foreign exchange frozen at TBI.
Hosseini elaborated that the United States had already issued the waiver to allow Iran to use the money for the import of goods that are not under Washington’s sanctions, and since food and medicines are not sanctioned such transactions have happened several times, including to pay COVAX for buying Covid-19 vaccines.
He added that the US has promised to release some of Iran's resources in Iraq and South Korea, as well as Japan, if the Vienna talks succeed in reviving the nuclear deal, in such a case Iran won’t have to import only food and drug products.
The semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported November 13 that Iran's assets frozen abroad -- largely for money owed for oil shipments -- totaled $50 billion, with $8 billion in South Korea, $3 billion in Japan, and $6 billion in Iraq.