ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An official from Iran’s Chamber of Commerce claimed on Saturday that Iraq has discontinued dollar-based transactions for trade between the two countries, in cooperation with US sanctions on the Islamic regime.
“Most transactions are [now] made using the Euro, [Iranian] Rial, and the Iraqi Dinar,” the Tasnim news agency quoted Yahya ale-Ishaq as saying. He added that some businessmen are bartering for goods as well.
In early August, the US re-imposed sanctions on Iran which the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi described as “unilateral” and “oppressive,” during a press briefing, adding that his country would not be “part of a blockade”.
On Aug. 13, Abadi stated that he would “abide by not using dollars in transactions.” Two weeks later, he confirmed earlier reports regarding Baghdad's plans to send a team to Washington to negotiate a deal to exempt Iraq from some provisions of the sanctions, since Iraq's economy is highly interlinked with, and dependent on, Iran's.
Ishaq then continued that, even with “USD 8 billion dollars’ worth of bilateral trade, bank transactions between the two countries are extremely low.”
He then pointed out that Iraq is second only to China in terms of trade with Iran, remarking that Iranian businessmen export goods “from tomato paste to construction materials to Iraq.”
Editing by John J. Catherine