News ID: 230605
Published: 0226 GMT August 31, 2018

Iraq sending team to US to seek Iran bans' waivers

Iraq sending team to US to seek Iran bans' waivers

Iraq plans to send a delegation to the US to discuss an agreement on financial transactions with Iran following Washington's recent move to restore sanctions against Tehran.

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was quoted by Reuters as saying that the Iraqi delegation will try to seek exemptions from sanctions specifically for imports of Iran's natural gas and electricity.

"We have requests for the American side, we have presented them and a delegation will go to negotiate within that framework," Abadi told a weekly news conference.

"We have presented a clear vision of what Iraq really needs. This includes Iranian [natural] gas, which is very important, as well as other trade and the electricity sector."

Elsewhere in his remarks, al-Abadi said Baghdad was against Washington's move to restore sanctions against Iran.

US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the US, Britain, France, Russia and China — plus Germany in 2015.

Trump also said he would reinstate US nuclear-related sanctions on Iran and impose 'the highest level' of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

The first round of sanctions that came into effect in early August  include a universal ban on Iran's access to the US dollar, as well as prohibitions against trade in gold and other precious metals, among other restrictions. The second wave of sanctions that would hit on November 4 would aim to bring Iran's oil exports to zero as claimed by US officials.

Earlier this month, the Iraqi prime minister had underlined that his government would only refrain from using the dollar in transactions with Iran without complying with the full scope of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

"Our commitment in the Iran issue is to not use the dollar currency in transaction, not abiding by the US sanctions," he said.

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