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Iran desperate to maintain Iraqi financial lifeline


Iran's central bank governor, Abdolnaser Hemmati, recently paid a surprise visit to Baghdad, three days after the United States slapped sanctions on 18 Iranian banks.

Iran sees in Iraq an economic lifeline and the only solution to circumvent the US sanctions ordeal, through formal and informal means.

A source at the Iraqi Central Bank who was present at an Oct. 12 meeting between Hemmati and his Iraqi counterpart, Mustafa Ghaleb, told Al-Monitor, “Hemmati left the meeting empty-handed regarding the settlement of dollar-denominated debts to Iran.”

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “Hemmati asked for the settlement of these debts in dollars. But his Iraqi counterpart assured him that his country is committed to the decisions of the US federal bank.”