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The U.S. has approved the release of $3 billion Iranian funds frozen in Iraq.

Apart from Hamid Hosseini citing an unnamed "reliable source", there is no confirmation from Iraqi or American officials.

Apart from Hamid Hosseini citing an unnamed "reliable source", there is no confirmation from Iraqi or American officials. On March 7, 2021, Hamid Hosseini, Secretary-General of the Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce, announced that Iran received some payments from its funds frozen by Iraqi banks. Citing an unnamed reliable source in Iraq, Hosseini also added that the state-owned Trade Bank of Iraq also released the funds after an agreement with Washington.

Iraq owes Iran over $6 billion for electricity and gas imports. Iraqi banks have frozen the funds over United States secondary sanctions that threaten anyone dealing with the Iranian financial sector.

The money owed to Iran has been stuck in different branches of Iranian banks in Iraq and has been deposited in a special account at the Trade Bank of Iraq. Iran has so far been denied access to these funds.

Former President Donald Trump had ramped up his maximum-pressure campaign against Iran by issuing new sanctions on various financial sectors. The sanctions imposed by Trump stopped Iran from accessing billions of its assets in foreign banks.

In February 2021, President Joe Biden revoked U.N. sanctions on Iran.

The Iraqi officials are yet to react to Hosseini’s claims. On March 5, the Arabic Twitter account of Aljazeera quoted an advisor to Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, saying that “Washington had agreed to Tehran using some of the funds held in Baghdad for humanitarian purposes.” However, we cannot confirm the same yet as there is no acknowledgment from the Iraqi or American officials. Hence, the claim is unverifiable.

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