0952 GMT October 25, 2020
A report on the website of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) said that new agreements had been reached between the two neighboring countries on how they could speed up payments related to trade, reported Press TV.
The report quoted CBI Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati, who is in the Iraqi capital Baghdad for an official visit, as saying that Iran and Iraq had built on the a deal signed last year to secure payments between the two despite a series of US sanctions that target financial transactions involving Iran.
“Based on previous agreement ... it had been expected that we use the resources we have in Iraq for the purchase of non-sanctioned and basic goods,” said Hemmati, adding, “We reached some good agreements during this trip.”
The report said Hemmati and his Iraqi counterpart, Ali Mohsen Al-Alaq, had agreed to implement the terms of the agreement reached last year to accelerate the payments.
A later report on the CBI website said Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi had also ensured Hemmati during a Wednesday meeting that he had personally pursued the case of payments owed to Iran.
The new agreement comes despite growing American pressure on Iraq to stop settling payments related to imports from Iran.
Iran is a main supplier of energy to Iraq as it provides the Arab country with the bulk of its electricity needs as well as the natural gas consumed in power plants in Iraq.
Iran’s Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian said during a visit to Iraq earlier this month that the Iraqis had settled nearly $400 million worth of due payments relating to Iranian energy imports.
On several occasions Iran has decided to use the money it is owed by Iraq to buy basic goods to help with the smooth flow of those goods into Iran at a time of US sanctions.