Iraq to Release Frozen Iranian Funds

The Governor of the Central Bank of Iran has said his negotiations with Iraqi officials have yielded "positive" results, as the Arab country has given its approval to the release of Iran's frozen assets for the purchase of basic commodities.

In remarks on Monday, Abdolnasser Hemmati said he held a trilateral meeting with Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) Mustafa Ghalib Mukheef and Chairman of Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) Salem Jawad Abdul Hadi Al-Jalabi during his visit to Baghdad.

The Iraqi authorities have agreed to release Iran's frozen funds for the purchase of basic commodities after extensive talks on trade exchanges, Hemmati said, noting that the Islamic Republic of Iran holds remarkable financial sources in Iraqi banks earned by the export of electricity and gas.

Under the new agreement, the main obstacle to the release of Iran's assets in the executive sphere has been removed, as the Central Bank of Iraq and the TBI face no more restrictions, he added.

Hemmati also pointed to his meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi following the tripartite negotiations with the bank authorities, saying the Iraqi premier has hailed the agreement on the release of Iranian assets and promised to pursue the implementation of the deal on a weekly basis.

The top Iranian banker expressed hope that the new deal with Iraq would result in positive steps in the promotion of economic and banking interaction between the two "friendly and brotherly" neighbors.

The assets held in Iraq belong to the Central Bank of Iran, which is the main supplier of the basic demands in various sectors such as industry, agriculture and healthcare, he explained, saying Tehran would begin to withdraw money from those funds according to its needs, the government's official website reported.

The commodities that are categorized as basic needs are exempted from the cruel and unilateral sanctions imposed by the US, the Iranian official noted.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

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