Shafaq News / Washington has denied Iraq's request for a billion dollars in cash from the Federal Reserve, citing concerns that it contradicts their efforts to curb Baghdad's use of the dollar and halt the flow of illicit cash to Iran.
According to The Wall Street Journal, since the U.S. invasion of Iraq two decades ago, the United States has been providing Baghdad with 10 billion dollars or more annually through bi-monthly half-monthly shipments. These funds are sourced from Iraqi oil sales revenues deposited with the Federal Reserve.
U.S. officials have expressed that "cash in the hands of Iraqis has become a profitable source for illegitimate dollars flowing to militias, corrupt politicians, and also to Iran." Through this request for an additional billion-dollar shipment, Iraq states its need for funds to assist in supporting its faltering currency. A prominent Iraqi official clarified that "the Central Bank of Iraq submitted an official request last week, which the Treasury Department is still reviewing, following the rejection of Iraq's initial request last month by Washington."
According to the newspaper, since last November, Washington has barred 18 Iraqi banks from dealing in dollars, imposing stricter rules for electronic dollar transfers from its banks.
Iraqi officials have revealed that Treasury officials informed the Central Bank governors that sending a large additional shipment contradicts Washington's goal of reducing Iraq's use of U.S. banknotes.
U.S. officials have cited compelling evidence that some of the dollars reaching Iraq have been illicitly funneled to Iran over the years, as well as to Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.
A spokesperson for the Treasury Ministry regarding Iraq's request stated, "The United States continues to support Iraq with dollar banknotes and has not restricted their access to ordinary Iraqis and companies," indicating the ongoing collaboration with the Central Bank of Iraq.