The United States has mandated Iraq to release $500 million in Iranian-blocked assets Friday, the Secretary General of the Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce said, according to Iran’s state-owned news agency Tasnim News.
According to Tasnim News’ website, Secretary-General Hamid Hosseini said that Iraqi officials agreed to deposit the Islamic Republic’s electricity and gas funds into a bank account belonging to the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) and Iran’s Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Management Company (TAVANIR).
According to Hosseini, the Islamic Republic’s blocked assets have been left in the bank under the strict supervision of the U.S. and only allowed for importing goods and commodities, not subject to American sanctions. The Secretary-General also noted that $1 billion worth of goods and commodities were handed over to Iran in 2022, allowing the regime in Tehran to pay its debt to Turkmenistan using gas imports.
In a recent visit of Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein to the U.S., Baghdad was permitted to release the $500 million in Iranian assets locked in Iraqi banks.
“The Biden administration has not given up on reviving the nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic. It has only provided meaningless rhetorical support for the freedom fighters of Iran while allowing Communist China to broker a deal between the Islamic Republic and Saudi Arabia, to the detriment of the Iranian people. And it is trying to ease the economic pressure on the Khamenei regime. This is a disaster for U.S. national security and the entire Middle East,” said Alireza Nader, Director of Engagement at National Union For Democracy in Iran (NUFDI).
The latest news out of Tehran comes as Iran and Saudi Arabia recently signed a normalization agreement, brokered under the Chinese Communist government, prompting concern from American and Israeli officials, who are worried about the Islamic Republic’s growing presence in the Middle East.
The latest action by the U.S. could allow the Islamic Republic to have new revenue to support the regime and its terrorist proxies as well as aid the Islamic Republic’s security forces in their crackdown on protesters calling for the regime’s overthrow since September of last year following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.