Under the guise of limiting Baghdad’s use of the dollar and halting illegal currency flows to Iran, Washington denied Iraq’s request for one billion dollars in cash from the Federal Reserve Bank.
The American newspaper “The Wall Street Journal” reported that since the American invasion of Iraq two decades ago, the US has provided $10 billion or more annually to Baghdad via bi-monthly cargo flights, with the funds coming from Iraqi oil sales deposited with the Federal Reserve Bank.
According to U.S. authorities, “Banknotes in the hands of Iraqis have become a lucrative source of illicit dollars that go back to militias and corrupt politicians, as well as to Iran.”
Iraq claims it needs the money to help shore up its collapsing currency and has applied for an extra $1 billion shipment. A high-ranking Iraqi source said that “last week, the Central Bank of Iraq submitted an official request that the Treasury Ministry is still studying, after Washington rejected the initial request submitted by Iraq last month.”
According to the publication, Washington has prohibited 18 Iraqi banks from trading in dollars since November, establishing harsher procedures for electronic transactions in dollars from its institutions.
According to Iraqi authorities, Treasury officials reminded Iraqi central bank governors that delivering a substantial extra cargo contradicts Washington’s purpose of reducing Iraq’s usage of US banknotes.
American authorities stated that there was clear proof that some of the dollars arriving in Iraq were carried in cash to Iran, as well as Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan throughout the years.
In response to the Iraqi request, a Treasury Department official stated, “The United States continues to support Iraq with dollar banknotes and has not restricted its access to ordinary Iraqis and businesses,” signaling continuous collaboration with the Central Bank of Iraq.