The chairman of Iran-Iraq chamber of commerce, Yahya Al-e Es-haq

Iran Official Claims Iraq Has Released All Of Its $10 Billion Debt

Monday, 07/03/2023

Iraq has made available all of Iran’s frozen funds for purchasing food and medicine, the chairman of Iran-Iraq chamber of commerce in Tehran said Monday.

Yahya Al-e Es-haq who was speaking in the presence of Iranian diplomats and members of the chamber in Tehran said that an Iraqi government minister has announced that “all debts to Iran, meaning $10 billion has been transferred to Trade Bank of Iraq” and made available for buying “non-sanctioned” goods.

The chairman of the chamber of commerce did not name the Iraqi minister or say when the announcement was made. So far, nothing has been reported from Iraq.

Iraq has been importing natural gas and electricity from Iran, but due to US banking sanctions on Tehran it has not been able to make direct payments. On a few occasions, the US has issues waivers allowing Iraq to release funds for humanitarian goods.

In early June news emerged that the United States allowed Iraq to release more than $2.7 billion of its debts to Iran frozen because of US sanctions. The amount was much larger than any waivers issues before. The news was confirmed by the State Department on June 8 and led to speculations that the Biden administration was making some kind of deal with Tehran over American hostages or the nuclear issue.

If Al-e Es-haq’s statement about $10 billion being released is true, it would be a major new development. He reiterated that “there are absolutely no issues remaining with Iraqi debts any longer.”

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