A member of Iran's Chamber of Commerce has dismissed reports in Iraqi media that Baghdad has revoked the operating license of Iran's National Bank (Bank Melli), a government institution.
Mohsen Chaman-Ara, speaking to Fars News Agency, claimed that “commercial transactions between Iraq and Iran continue unaffected.” Earlier an Iraqi news website published the copy of a letter sent by a deputy director of Iraq's central bank notifying the Iranian bank of the decision to revoke its license.
Amid the backdrop of extensive US attacks on positions linked to the Islamic Republic in the region, the US Treasury Department has launched a fresh round of pressures on Iraqi banks, ostensibly aiming to block Iran's access to US dollars via Iraq.
The action was implemented to combat fraud, money laundering, and other illicit uses of the US currency shortly after a visit by a high-ranking US Treasury official. The measures align with US regulations aimed at preventing the unlawful funneling of dollars to Iran and exerting pressure on Tehran in conjunction with US sanctions related to its nuclear program and other conflicts.
As an intermediary between the United States and Iran, Iraq, which holds over $100 billion in reserves in US banks, relies heavily on Washington's cooperation to ensure access to its oil revenues kept in US banks.
Referring to a document from the Iraqi central bank authenticated by a bank official, Reuters identified the banned institutions as Ahsur International Bank for Investment, Investment Bank of Iraq, Union Bank of Iraq, Kurdistan International Islamic Bank for Investment and Development, Al Huda Bank, Al Janoob Islamic Bank for Investment and Finance, Arabia Islamic Bank, and Hammurabi Commercial Bank.