TEHRAN (Iran News) – Head of the Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce Yahya Al-e Eshaq says Iran’s energy ministry does not accept goods instead of cash for the sale of electricity to Iraq and it insists on getting money from Iraq.
Speaking to ILNA, Al-e Eshaq said energy ministry should talk with Iraqi officials for return of its money for the sales of electricity to get favorable result, adding that the ministry does not accept goods instead of money and it insists on getting its money in cash. He noted that Iran’s frozen money in Iraq is estimated at between 5 to 7 billion dollars and the total amount of sold gas to Iraq by the energy ministry has been on the basis of dollar.
On the release of the frozen money from Iraq, he said Iraq owes Iran some certain amount of money which it has delayed in repayingt because of some conditions and it seems this country is currently less under pressure for repaying Iran’s debts and the talks between the two countries are bearing fruits. Therefor Iraq will pay major part of Iran’s money, he noted.
He noted that Iraqis had financial problem and been under the U.S. pressures which hindered paying their debts and currently the political pressures have reduced, and on the whole the country is now in a condition that it can pay major part of Iran’s debts.
Al-e Eshaq added that on how the money is being paid, the energy ministry should talk with Iraqi officials to get results. He reiterated that energy ministry does not accept goods in exchange for its money and it insists on getting cash.
He noted currently no deadline has been set for the return of money and Iran does not want to put Baghdad under pressure for repaying its money and by the way Iraq is not the country dodging from repaying its debts to Iraq.
He also refuted reports on Iran’s cutting electricity supply to Iraq, adding that Iraq is in dire need of Iran’s electricity and Iran has no reason to cut the power supply.
Al-e Eshaq also reacted to the proposal for the launch of economic union between Iran, Turkey and Iraq and said if it happens, it will have great positive impacts but this needs a strong determination by all parties.
On Monday it was reported a spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity has said his country is ready to pay back its debt for imports of gas and electricity to Iran.
“The Ministry of Electricity is ready to pay back its debts to Iran based on the agreement of the delegations that previously visited Tehran. They money is a weight on our shoulders that we have to pay to Iran,” Ahmed Musa told Baghdad al-Yawm news agency.