[ltr]2023.07.30 - 09:07[/ltr]
Baghdad - Nas
The US Ambassador to Iraq, Alina Romanowski, said that her country had not imposed any sanctions on Iraqi banks, referring to contact between the US Treasury and the Central Bank of Iraq regarding measures against banks and the dollar crisis.
Romanowski said in a tweet, followed by "NAS" on Sunday (July 30, 2023), "Yesterday, I participated in a call between the Treasury Department and the Central Bank of Iraq about the recent US measures to restrict 14 Iraqi banks from dollar services after concerns related to money laundering."
She added that the Central Bank of Iraq "took appropriate and prompt measures," stressing that "no sanctions were imposed on any of the Iraqi banks."
And she indicated that work “will continue to improve compliance with AML/CFT regulations and digitize the Iraqi economy with our partners in the Central Bank.”
The new crisis in the currency market erupted with the announcement by the United States of America of sanctions against 14 banks in Iraq, where exchange rates are witnessing a continuous rise despite the government's announcement of taking measures to control the parallel market.
The exchange rates of the dollar in Iraq exceeded the barrier of 1550 dinars in the last transactions, while banks and exchange offices refrain from selling, following threats from the government of fines against violators of the exchange instructions at the official rate.
The Finance Committee requested answers from the Governor of the Central Bank, Ali Al-Alaq, about the measures that the bank will take to solve the new crisis, after a 5-hour hosting in the House of Representatives on Monday, July 24.
The Finance Committee is calling for more facilities within the framework of procedures for merchants to obtain dollars, hoping to alleviate the crisis.
While the feasibility of these facilities remains in doubt, as the bulk of the central bank’s dollar sales go to the black market, through banks and exchange offices linked to political parties and armed groups.
The Chairman of the Finance Committee, Atwan Al-Atwani, had previously criticized the Central Bank's procedures regarding the dollar, describing the bank's procedures as "insufficient", and said that the crisis of the dollar exchange rate against the dinar in Iraq "is as serious as terrorism," calling for a "review" of the Central Bank's procedures to "preserve the stability of exchange rates and the market.
On the other hand, the Governor of the Central Bank, Ali Al-Alaq, affirmed the central bank’s readiness to “cooperate in order to get out of the crisis.” He said that the recent US sanctions were issued after checking bank transfers for the past year, “before the application of the electronic platform, and before the formation of the current government as well.”
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