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 Iran's Economic Worries Mount as Iraq Applies New US Sanctions

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PostSubject: Iran's Economic Worries Mount as Iraq Applies New US Sanctions   Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:57 am

FILE - Residents shop for fruits and vegetables at a market in Baghdad's Karrada district. Iraq relies on imports from neighbors like Iran, Syria and Turkey for much of its consumer goods.

Iraq has begun to apply new U.S. economic sanctions against Iran, turning back shipments of Iranian goods at a number of border crossings, according to Al Hurra TV, quoting Iranian merchants.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is straddling the political fence as he seeks a second term following parliamentary elections in May, told journalists Wednesday that he was "totally opposed to the principle of sanctions, given the price [Baghdad] itself had paid for international sanctions [under Saddam Hussein]."

Nonetheless, Abadi said he would apply them, since "the world does business in dollars and it would hurt the interests of the Iraqi people" if he ignored them.
Iran is Iraq's second-largest trading partner after Turkey, causing concern that strict implementation of sanctions could hurt the economies of both countries.

Iraq imported more than $6.5 billion in goods and services from Iran last year, including consumer goods, building materials, raw materials, natural gas and electricity.

Merchants in Baghdad told Arab media in recent days that upward of two-thirds of the consumer goods they sell are Iranian-made, raising concerns about a possible closure of the border with Iran. Most analysts point out, though, that the Iraqi government does not control many of its land or sea border crossings and that pro-Iranian Shiite proxy militias are likely to continue illicit trade with Tehran.

Read more at: https://www.voanews.com/a/iran-s-economic-worries-mount-as-iraq-applies-new-us-sanctions/4523778.html
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