FM: Iraq Not Obliged to Follow US Sanctions Against Iran

US sanctions are unilateral, could be bypassed

While the US has at least temporarily granted Iraq a sanctions waiver for continued trade with Iran, it is only a 90-day extension. The Trump Administration has said such waivers are temporary, and the plan is to move international Iran trade as close to zero as possible.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Ali al-Hakim doesn’t see this as necessarily a requirement, however. In comments Wednesday, he said that the unilateral US sanctions were not international, and that Iraq was “not obliged” to abide by them.

Hakim says that there are a number of possibilities for Iraq to keep the trade going, including simply dealing in Iraqi dinars in bilateral trade instead of the international banking system.

Trade between Iraq and Iran is hugely important, with gas supplies from Iran vital to electricity generation. Iraqis are also heavily invested in Iran, and are loathe to cut off trade with a neighboring nation that they have deep business interests in just because the US demands it.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.