Iraq is intensifying its restrictions on the U.S. dollar, following its previous ban on all cash withdrawals in this currency.
It has prohibited eight banks from conducting transactions in U.S. dollars, in what could be seen as a move to implement the BRICS policy.
Eight domestic banks have been barred from participating in the daily U.S. dollar auction held by Iraq’s Central Bank, effectively cutting off their access to the country’s U.S. dollar reserves.
This even as Iraq is grappling with the challenge of regulating black market transactions in U.S. dollars, which are undermining its domestic economy.
The country is striving to stabilize the volatile black market exchange rate, which has been a persistent issue.
However, its primary source of hard currency, which is heavily reliant on imports, has become the focal point of a U.S. clampdown on currency smuggling to Iran.
Below is the list of the banks prohibited from transacting in U.S.
The following banks are now prohibited:
- Ahsur International Bank for Investment
- Investment Bank of Iraq
- Union Bank of Iraq
- Kurdistan International Islamic Bank for Investment and Development
- Al Huda Bank
- Al Janoob Islamic Bank for Investment and Finance
- Arabia Islamic Bank
- Hammurabi Commercial Bank
It is however, important to note that Iraq has not yet become a member but has expressed interest in joining the BRICS.
The BRICS group currently consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, with Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates joining in 2024.
BRICS was founded in June 2006 at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum.