8 June 2023

Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Iraqi counterpart, and “encouraged the Government of Iraq on its efforts to become energy independent and to increase innovation in its energy sector”. According to an Iraqi readout, Foreign Minister Fuad Hossein discussed, inter alia, Iraq’s debt to Iran for energy imports and “how to deal with the American measures on international banks, including Iraqi banks”, noting the “need to find a solution to this problem as it directly affects the electrical sector in Iraq”. He further “thanked the American side for allowing to solve the issue of financial payments to Iranian pilgrims and Iranian money in Iraqi banks”. On 11 June, a U.S. spokesperson underscored that “no funds are allocated to Iran and any reporting to the contrary is false. For several years, the U.S. has approved similar transactions on an ongoing basis consistent with OFAC regulations and in full coordination with the Government of Iraq… The U.S. has maintained strict compliance with all Iran-related sanctions and will continue to do so unless and until Iran’s nuclear program returns to compliance with prior commitments”.

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