from Press TV
Iraqi officials say the administration of US President Donald
Trump has threatened to shut off Iraq's access to a key central banking
account if Baghdad expels American troops from the Arab country.
Washington would shut down Baghdad's access to its main account at
the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, used to collect revenues from
Iraq's overseas oil sales, The Wall Street Journal quoted the officials
According to the most recent financial statement from the Central
Bank of Iraq, the bank held almost $3 billion in overnight deposits at
the close of 2018.
The report came a day after Trump implicitly threatened to seize $35
billion of Iraqi money held in US banks if the country insists on having
American forces withdrawn from Iraq.
Trump said he had told Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi
that Iraq "should pay back the United States for its investments in the
country over the past several years or the American military will stay
there," Fox News reported.
"I said, 'If we leave, you got to pay us,'" Trump told the news
network in the White House. "If we leave ... you have to pay us for the
money we put in."
Asked how he planned to collect money from Iraq, Trump said: "Well,
we have a lot of their money right now. We have a lot of their money. We
have $35 billion of their money right now sitting in an account.
"And I think they’ll agree to pay. I think they’ll agree to pay. Otherwise, we’ll stay there," he added...
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