Photo by ALI AL-SAADI/AFP/Getty Images
A mere eight months after the last U.S. troops left Baghdad, the White House is having to deal with the uncomfortable situation of figuring out how to stop Iraq from helping Iran skirt economic sanctions that have been imposed on Tehran because of its nuclear program, reports the New York Times. Using a network of financial institutionsand oil-smuggling operations, Iraq has been helping keep the dollars flowing to Tehran, according to the paper.
For now, the Obama administration has avoided a public denunciation and limited its action to private talks with Iraqi officials to complain about specific instances where they have detected a cash flow. And while Iraqi officials often simply turn a blind eye to trade with Iran, in some instances officials with close ties to Prime Minister Nouri Kamal al-Maliki are making a pretty penny off the ongoing activities. Last month, Obama fobade an Iraqi bank from carrying out deals with the U.S. banking system. But the Times hears word the bank is still being allowed to participate in the Central Bank’s daily auction, allowing it to buy dollars.