Iranian engineers at an industrial facility

Iraq Withholds Payments for Iranian Engineers Killed by ISIS

Tuesday, 05/21/2024

Iran’s Secretary of the Association of Exporters of Technical and Engineering Services has claimed the Iraqi government has failed to settle over a billion dollars in dues owed to Iranian contractors.

Bahman Salehi Javid also revealed that the families of several Iranian engineers who were killed in 2015 during ISIS attacks have not received any of the $9 million compensation per victim, legally stipulated by Iraqi laws.

During his interview with ILNA, Javid detailed the predicament that began when Iranian contractors entered the Iraqi civil project sector, winning bids and commencing construction. Despite their contractual successes, “the Iraqi government has stalled on payments for over a decade,” including during the period of ISIS's control over parts of Iraq.

As ISIS wreaked havoc across Iraq, seizing territories and declaring a caliphate, the group's brutal governance led to significant humanitarian crisis. The international coalition's military efforts eventually recaptured the lost territories by December 2017. Despite the efforts, the remnants of ISIS continue to pose threats, complicating the safety and security of ongoing projects.

Since the US imposed banking sanctions on Iran in 2018, Iraq has been unable to make cash payments, resulting in approximately $11 billion in unpaid bills. In June 2023, the Biden administration granted waivers allowing Iraq to settle this debt in Oman, where Iran is expected to use the funds to purchase "unsanctionable" goods.

Critics, however, have condemned the move, pointing out that providing Iran with hard currency could allow it to reallocate other funds towards military expenditures and its nuclear program.

More News