all iraq’s gold is in the NY fed

Pindostan Reportedly Warns Iraq it Will Shut Down its Fed Reserve Bank Account If Pindo Troops Are Booted Out
Svetlana Ekimenko, Sputnik News, Jan 12 2020

Faschingstein has reportedly warned Baghdad that it could lose access to its central bank account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York if it goes through with its decision to expel Pindo troops from the region, according to Iraqi officials quoted by the WSJ. The publication cites other means of pressure that the Pindo administration could resort to, such as refusing to re-issue waivers on sanctions against Iran. Faschingstein currently allows Iraq to import Iranian gas to fuel generators that supply a large portion of the country’s power despite sanctions, but the arrangement is set to expire in February. An official in Adel Abd’ul-Mahdi’s office is cited as saying he received a warning regarding the bank account, which holds billions from oil revenues, during a phone call on Wednesday Jan 8. Iraq, like numerous other countries, maintains government accounts at the NY Fed, via which it manages its national finances, including revenue from oil sales; it takes out that money to pay government salaries and contracts. While there is no information as to how much of Iraq’s money the Fed currently holds, according to WSJ it had $3b in overnight deposits from the country’s central bank at the end of 2018. The threatened measure, which could inflict significant damage to the country’s economy, is believed to have left some members of the Iraqi government stressing the need to maintain friendly ties with Pindostan. The officials are cited as emphasising that international pressure on Iraq’s economy would not sit well with Baghdad’s efforts to answer its citizens, as protesters gathered in Baghdad and southern Iraq on Friday to demand that both Iran and Pindostan stop meddling in Iraqi politics. Shwan Taha, chairman of Iraqi investment bank Rabee Securities, was quoted telling the publication:

The Pindo Fed basically has a stranglehold on the entire economy.

Others, like the PM’s adviser Abd’al-Hassanein al-Hanein, reportedly held the opinion that the Trump administration was bluffing. Tthe WSJ cites Mahdi’s adviser as saying:

If Pindostan does that, it will lose Iraq forever.

There has not yet been any official comment from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, or the State and Treasury Depts. Neither has there been an official response from Iraq’s prime minister. The currently implied move by the Faschingstein administration is not unprecedented, writes The WSJ, recalling that in 2015, it halted Iraq’s access to its funds at the Fed for a succession of weeks amid suspicions the money was being funnelled towards funding Daesh. The Federal Reserve has the power to cut off access to funds for countries under sanctions or if it suspects the money could violate Pindo law, says the publication. The Iraqi Parliament carried out a non-binding vote during an extraordinary session on Jan 5 to expel the foreign military presence from the country, including the Pindo troops that it invited in 2014 to fight Daesh’s incursion. the parliament’s resolution read:

The Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason.

The decision, which earned backing from PM Adel Abd’ul-Mahdi, came as a response to Pindostan conducting airstrikes on Iraqi territory without discussing them with Baghdad or providing any warning. The latest such strike killed Gen Soleimani and two prominent members of Iraq’s PMF. Pindostan has not officially announced any intent to withdraw its forces from the country. While initially, following the vote, a letter started circulating in media in which Faschingstein informed Baghdad of preparations for an upcoming withdrawal, JCCS Milley later clarified that the letter was sent by “mistake.” The State Dept has announced that any new Pindo delegation sent to Iraq would discuss matters of returning to a strategic partnership, rather than troop withdrawal with the country’s government. The Trump administration expressed its keen disappointment over the Iraqi parliament’s decision. Trump said on Sunday:

We have a very extraordinarily expensive airbase that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. Long before my time We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it […] We will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.

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