Iranian central bank governor in Baghdad for talks with Iraqi officials

Iranian Central Bank Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati (R) arrives in Baghdad, October 12, 2020. (IRNA)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iranian central bank governor Abdolnaser Hemmati arrived in Baghdad on Monday to hold meetings with senior Iraqi officials, according state news agency IRNA.

Hemmati met with his Iraqi counterpart Mostafa Ghalib upon his arrival to the Iraqi capital, IRNA reported.

The Iranian governor hoped the banking and financial issues between the two countries would be resolved.

IRNA cited Iraq’s central bank governor as saying that there were mechanisms which could be used to help strengthen banking and monetary cooperation between Iraq and Iran.

Hemmati is also expected to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and Finance Minister Ali Allawi during his meeting.

His visit came after the United States on Thursday slapped fresh sanctions on Iran’s financial sector, targeting 18 banks to further choke off Iranian revenues as Washington ramps up pressure on Tehran weeks ahead of the U.S. election.

Hemmati dismissed the sanctions as political propaganda and played down their practical impact.

“What needs to be decided in this regard was decided two years ago,” Hemmati was quoted as saying by Iranian media. “Therefore, the banks that were party to the agreement with Iran have decided to continue trading with Iran.”

Iran’s currency has lost about 56% of its value in 2020 as a drop in oil prices has deepened the economic crisis in the country, which also has the highest COVID-19 death toll in the Middle East.

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