Iraq central bank moves to identify dollar buyers

BAGHDAD (AFP)— The Iraqi central bank has enacted measures to identify those who buy dollars, as some are believed to be front men at a time when Iran and Syria are facing foreign currency shortages due to sanctions.

Both Iran and Syria have been hit by sanctions from the United States and Europe, the former over its controversial nuclear programme and the latter due to its bloody attempts to suppress a revolt that began last March.

"We have put in place new procedures since February 1," Mudher Mohammed Saleh, the deputy governor of the Iraqi central bank, told AFP on Saturday.

Banks that buy dollars from the central bank must now provide the identity of whoever placed the order and "prove that they have an account in the bank and the origin of their income," Saleh said.

"We are concerned that some people buy dollars on behalf of others," he said, without elaborating.

Asked if Iranian and Syrian traders were trying to buy dollars, Saleh said: "This increase in demand for dollars, while the region has serious problems, led us to put the new procedures in place."

In 2010, the Iraqi central bank sold about $100 million per day. That increased to between $150 and $160 million in the first 10 months of 2011, and reached around $200 million in the last three months, peaking at $300 million.

Saleh added that transactions had experienced a dramatic fall in the first two days of February, ranging from $3-$4 million.

Saleh said the new measures were not adopted at the request of the United States.

"This is an international issue, and we are implementing international procedures," he said.


Act of Cowardice

Iran's ruling tyrants have executed yet another political prisoner in flagrant violation of international law.  READ MORE

The rush to Tehran amidst rise in executions

World leaders should halt these visits and link any deal with Iran to its human rights record.  READ MORE

Arming a dictator

What if President Obama ordered the sale of arms to Syrian dictator to massacre his opponents? READ MORE

Slaughter intensifies under Rouhani

231 executions have occurred since the presidential election in June which brought to power Hassan Rouhani. READ MORE

Silence is not the answer

Iran: Bloody crackdown targeting dissidents aims at terrorizing the people into submission. READ MORE

Iran’s Murder Machine

The wheels of Iran's Murder Machine turn in tandem with its nuclear machine. READ MORE

What now?

The West must drop the dangerous pretence that talking to a regime not interested in listening constitutes the winning strategy. READ MORE

A facelift

This cosmetic facelift should not dupe the West into thinking that there are fresh prospects for a nuclear deal. READ MORE

An Act of Cowardice

The terrorist attack against Iranian exiles at Camp Liberty, Iraq, is another sign of Iranian regime's weakness. READ MORE

Much atalk about nothing

In Istanbul they merely agreed to talk about talking later in May in Baghdad, of all places. READ MORE

An unholy alliance

The brutal state-imposed bloodbath in Syria deserves uncompromising reproach. READ MORE

Iran cries for freedom

The clerical regime in Iran has predictably unleashed another wave of terror against the citizenry since the outburst of the latest string of mass protests beginning on 14 February. READ MORE

A new Iran policy

The latest round of nuclear talks had an all-too-familiar result: more time for Tehran and less time for the international community to prevent a nuclear-armed theocracy. READ MORE

Murder overlooked

What would the rest of us do if a mad gunman was in our midst, systematically murdering our fellow human beings in front of our eyes? The responsible amongst us would not look the other way, because that would serve as a source of encouragement for the murderers to carry on with their heinous acts unchecked. READ MORE

Standing up to Iran's executioners

The Iranian regime's malicious noose has yet again taken an innocent life. Political prisoner Ali Saremi, 63, was hanged in Tehran's infamous Evin prison after a lifetime of peacefully espousing human rights and democracy. READ MORE