Rouhani is in Baghdad to harness Iraq’s banks for beating US anti-Iran oil sanctions

Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani started a visit to Baghdad on Monday, March 11, for the main purpose of harnessing Iraq’s banks as Tehran’s main mechanism for beating the US sanction on its oil sales. This is revealed exclusively by DEBKAfile. Rouhani will formalize the deal, which has been in discussion for more than a month between Tehran and Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdel Mahdi. They agreed in principle to set up a mechanism for enabling Iran’s foreign clients to purchase oil and gas, in defiance of President Donald Trump’s sanctions, by registering the transactions as purchases of Iraqi oil. Payment is to be deposited in Iraqi banks in Baghdad and Basra, then quietly transferred in euros to banks in Tehran.

Prime Minister Mahdi does not expect the Trump administration to make trouble over this subterfuge. He is under enormous pressure from Iran and the Iraqi Shiite militias under the thumb of Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani to order US forces to withdraw from Iraq. He therefore believes he holds over Washington’s head a threat to give into Iran’s pressure and order the 5,200 American troops to pack up and leave their bases, should the US take action against the Iraqi banks which collude in busting US sanctions.

This order would undermine the Trump administration’s strategy in the Middle East and the Gulf. The US grants substantial financial and military support to Baghdad to secure a linchpin for this strategy against Tehran’s grab for dominant influence in the Iraqi capital.

However, the deal is in the bag. On Feb. 6, the governor of the Iraqi central bank Abdolnasser Hemmat and his Iranian counterpart Ali Mohsen Ismail al-Alaq reached an agreement in principle. Rouhani, who is accompanied on his three-day visit to Baghdad by foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and oil minister Bijan Zangeneh, is to add the government’s seal to the transaction.

Meanwhile, Washington warned the Mahdi government against conniving with Tehran to beat America’s anti-Iran sanctions. On Friday, March 8, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo phoned the Iraqi prime minister with a caution. If Iraqi banks go through with the sanctions-busting deal with Tehran, the US will block their access to the international financial markets ruled by the US dollar.

Washington and Baghdad are on the brink of a showdown. It is marked by the impending activation of Iraqi banks for breaking the US embargo on Iranian oil sales, plus Baghdad’s threat to demand the removal of US forces. This impasse is the reason why the US has in recent days sent additional forces to fortify its bases in Iraq, as DEBKAfile’s military sources first reported on March 9. The extra units have been drawn from US bases in Israel and Jordan.

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22 thoughts on “Rouhani is in Baghdad to harness Iraq’s banks for beating US anti-Iran oil sanctions

  • Mar 11, 2019 @ 22:48 at 22:48

    There is no such a thing like Islamic Mafia.
    Plus, our capo-regimes Rouhani and Mahdi are decent business men, and never indicted.

    • Mar 12, 2019 @ 0:21 at 0:21

      No Islamic Mafia at all, not even a small Muslim Mafia, completely and totally no Mafia!
      Of course, our syndicate provides protection, but only for a small percentage, well below 100%.

    • Mar 12, 2019 @ 0:33 at 0:33

      Us spend 11 trillion dollars to do what exactly? Bush must be in prison

      • Mar 12, 2019 @ 16:41 at 16:41

        Tony Blair; Bush had no brains

    • Mar 12, 2019 @ 0:36 at 0:36

      “Prime Minister Mahdi does not expect Trump to make trouble…” Someone is an idiot here. Either the reporter or the Minister and I cant tell which. Anyone who has witnessed Trump’s actions over the past couple years knows full well he keeps his word and promises. If this deal gets done both Iraq and Iran will pay a heavy price.

      • Mar 12, 2019 @ 5:24 at 5:24

        Since the Dotard can accomplish nothing else, maybe he’ll proclaim a new Shah on Twitter.

      • Mar 12, 2019 @ 19:53 at 19:53

        Trump will find that Iran has been an exception and he made mistake, I do believe Trump will be ready to deal with Iran especially after his disaster with North Korea.

    • Mar 12, 2019 @ 5:21 at 5:21

      WOW! Islamic Mafia, is it like Jewish Mafia?

  • Mar 12, 2019 @ 0:48 at 0:48

    Alright we spent trillions of dollars so Iraq could become our enemy and support Iran.

    • Mar 12, 2019 @ 4:23 at 4:23

      Two wars sandwiched by genocidal sanctions, resulting in millions of dead people and trillions of wasted dollars, just to satisfy the needs and desires of the antisemitic squatter colony!

      And look what Uncle Sam has to show for it!

      These are the consequences of listening to fascist double-agents who are also very stupid and arrogant.

  • Mar 12, 2019 @ 1:15 at 1:15

    After the US lost the war by being solidly defeated, Iran now owns Iraq. This article is proof.

    The next war which has been lost for a long time after 16 years is Afghanistan. When will the US retreat from that one?

    • Mar 12, 2019 @ 1:39 at 1:39

      Only after Alexa-actress Occasional-Cortex has become POTUS

    • Mar 12, 2019 @ 2:06 at 2:06

      Hey Vlad! May I call you Vlad? Did you know that your comrades lost 15K soldiers in Afghanistan? Yes, in 2/3 the amount of time no less . Oh and I almost forgot your comrades help contribute to the death of 2 MILLION Afghanistan civilians! Moral of the story…..shut your piehole!

      • Mar 12, 2019 @ 4:28 at 4:28

        Hi Gulbuddin… may I call you Gulbuddin.

        How’s the opium trade doing these days? What’s it like to work with the CIA?

    • Mar 12, 2019 @ 4:25 at 4:25

      It’s just a matter of time. Right now, the CIA is making bank trafficking opium, so they’ll probably insist upon holding on for a little longer.

      But the clock is ticking for the LOSERS.

      Sort of like the antisemitic squatters and their stolen golan.

  • Mar 12, 2019 @ 2:54 at 2:54

    Put Iraq’ Military in control. This will be the solution to this issue. Create another Saddam or Bashar or any other butchers and he will take care of Iran’s issue.

  • Mar 12, 2019 @ 3:56 at 3:56

    Trump probably wants to draw down troops in Iraq. The possibility that he is increasing boots on the ground may indicate that the president is no longer calling the shots on foreign policy. And, will American troops remain in Iraq even after Iraq orders them out? White House warnings that the US will block financial end runs around the sanctions better be truthful. If not, Trump is once again giving in to Vlad’s insistence that the US evacuate the region.

  • Mar 12, 2019 @ 4:00 at 4:00


  • Mar 12, 2019 @ 5:32 at 5:32

    No. They gonna toss the Americans. 😉

    • Mar 12, 2019 @ 11:09 at 11:09

      “No. They gonna toss the Americans.”


      No…………….Americans don’t get tossed.

      • Mar 12, 2019 @ 12:18 at 12:18

        Watch and learn. 😉

  • Mar 13, 2019 @ 2:10 at 2:10

    Trump tem palavra? Não me faça rir, ele rompeu com todos os acordos internacionais que os EUA firmaram. Não seja inocente por conta do que voce pensa ou do que você deseja. As promessas de Trump hoje não valem nada.

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