Iraq Asks Trade Partners to Ditch US Dollars in Pricing
The Iraqi government told its trading partners Wednesday that it was no longer dealing in US dollars and asked them to price their goods in other currencies, an official source said.
"The commerce ministry on Wednesday began telling companies dealing with Iraq they must abandon the US dollar and price their goods in other currencies, especially the Euro," the source said.
Iraqi Finance Minister Hekmat Ibrahimi al-Azzawi announced Tuesday that Baghdad will replace the dollar, the currency of an "enemy state", with other currencies, including the Euro, for foreign trade transactions.
Baghdad, which accuses Washington of prolonging the crippling sanctions regime imposed on Iraq for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, is exporting as much as 2.5 million barrels of oil a day.
Revenues from this crude, exported under strict UN supervision, are used to finance imports of food, medicine and essential goods.
Iraq, which like other producers prices its crude in dollars, has sold more than 34.5 billion barrels of oil since the oil-for-food program was launched in December 1996, according to the United Nations.
An official Iraqi newspaper said Monday that the price of crude should not be fixed in dollars "because that harms the interests of producers," and instead suggested using a basket of currencies, headed by the Euro – BAGHDAD (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)