In a move intended to bypass American sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s banking sector, Iraq and Iran have agreed a swap deal that allows Baghdad to ‘pay’ for imports of Iranian gas and electricity with crude and heavy fuel oil (HFO).

The agreement was signed on 11 July by Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani’s Chief of Staff, Ihsan al-Awadi, and Iran’s ambassador to Baghdad Mohammed Kazem Al Sadiq. The PM told a press conference the same day that the deal was reached after negotiations that began on 8 July. There was no official reaction from the US administration, but a US diplomatic source tells MEES that “this barter is a bit of a surprise. We’re looking it over.” (CONTINUED - 951 WORDS)