Is Iraq assisting Iran in circumventing sanctions?

NCRI, Paris – The Financial Times reported on Friday that Iraq has boosted its gold reserves by 25 tons in just 3 months.

Financial analysts in London attributed the huge boost in Iraq’s gold reserves from about 5 tons to 30 tons since October to Iranian payments of gold to Iraq, possibly in return for US dollars and other trade, which might be in circumvention of US and international sanctions.

Just last month CNN reported that a Turkish official had revealed that Iran was asking for payments in gold for gas supplies to Turkey. “Over the last six months, Iran has evaded U.S. sanctions by importing Turkish gold to pay for billions of dollars worth of energy sales to Turkey,” CNN reported.

“Why did, all of the sudden, Turkey’s gold exports, especially gold bullion, go up?” Ali Babacan asked while speaking before a parliamentary budget commission in November. The official transcript of his statements was published by a Turkish government website Wednesday.

“An important part of that is Iran,” he said. “When Turkey buys Iranian oil, we pay for it in Turkish lira… However, it is not possible for Iran to take that money as dollars into its own country due to international restrictions, the U.S.A.’s sanctions. Therefore, when Iran cannot take this money back as currency, they withdraw Turkish lira and buy gold from our market. They take the gold back to their own country.”

Now it seems that gold has found its way into Iraq’s reserves possibly in lieu of US dollars to the starved Iranian regime’s economy.

New US sanctions against Iran target just such gold trading and will pressure the Iranian regime in its cat and mouse game of evading sanctions against it due to its abhorrent policies.



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