Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) and Iran’s Central Bank held talks on 21 November in Muscat with Oman’s central bank invovled with a view to Baghdad disbursing as “humanitarian goods” some of the $3.88bn it owes Tehran for gas and power imports. Iraq had agreed to pay Tehran $1.16bn this year (MEES, 9 April), and clear its debts over 3-4 years, but US and EU sanctions on Iran’s banking sector are complicating a deal struck in June (MEES, 4 June). Iranian media last week reported that $3.5-4bn in frozen Iranian funds have become accessible but without naming any countries. Previously, Iraq and South Korea were rumored to begin releasing Iranian funds as part of a larger US de-escalation move.