A senior official at the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Iraq agreed to pay about $2.76 billion in gas and electricity debts to Iran after obtaining an exemption from sanctions from the United States, Reuters reported.
The source added that the Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fuad Hussein, obtained the exemption during a meeting with the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, on the sidelines of the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS held in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, last Thursday, according to Reuters.
Iraq depends on imports from Iran for much of its gas needs, but the sanctions imposed by the United States on Iranian oil and gas exports impeded Iraqi payment of Iranian imports, causing huge debts to accumulate and leading Iran to repeatedly cut gas flows to Iraq.
The spokesperson of the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Al-Sahaf, said in a brief statement that Hussein made progress in the financial dues between Iraq and Iran during his conversation with his American counterpart in Riyadh.
The head of the Iranian-Iraqi Chamber of Commerce, Yahya Al-e Eshaq, said that part of the released money is allocated to the costs of Iranian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia, while the other part is allocated to the purchase of basic commodities, Iranian news agencies mentioned.
The source in the Iraqi Foreign Ministry added that the payments would be sent through the Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) and confirmed that these payments would be used for the costs of Iranian pilgrims and Iran’s food imports.
Source : iraqinews.com