A big problem, such as the accusation of money laundering, cannot be faced with appeals from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Saturday 07/18 2020
Iraq was lacking these charges
The Central Bank of Iraq is silent and we have not heard of any comment
The file must be dealt with in a professional manner before Iraq requests that its name be removed from the list
Imposing restrictions on money transfers to and from Iraq, which hinders the flow of funds necessary for investment
No soft loans from the International Monetary Fund, monitoring all financial transfers to and from Iraq, low investment companies ’business to expose them to extortion.
These are the most prominent “gains” of Iraq, after being placed by the European Union on the list of high-risk countries in money laundering and terrorist financing! How can Iraq get out of this list?
Let’s start from the first story.
We say … the situation in Iraq has become threatened with economic collapse after being placed by the European Union on the list of countries that lack international standards to prevent money laundering and combat the financing of terrorism.
This is not new to Iraq, as the European Union previously put Iraq on this list since 2016, and the European Union has tried to help Iraq out of this list after the Union helped in 2018 lift the sanctions that were imposed on it. Instead of Iraq benefiting from this positive step to improve its image and economic situation in front of the world, it has been pushed into projects tainted by corruption in addition to the continuation of the currency auction, which the European Union considers a broad window for money laundering, so the European Union renewed Iraq’s fixation in this list within its latest version in July 2020.
It is true that Iraq moved diplomatically in the recent period to remove its name from this list, when Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein phoned his German counterpart Haikou Maas, who will head the European Union this week, asking him to make efforts to remove Iraq from the list of high-risk countries in money laundering and terrorist financing.
But … such important issues cannot be resolved by phone call, as happens in Iraq when a criminal is released by phone call, or when someone is assigned to an important location by phone call as well, since this file must be dealt with in a professional manner, there are specific requirements And fixed standards for Iraq to adhere to before it requests the competent authorities to remove its name from this list.
But a lord of questioner says what does it mean to place Iraq on this list. We say that this does not only mean placing restrictions and monitoring financial transfers to and from Iraq, but also the difficulty of obtaining financial grants and soft loans from the International Monetary Fund, at a time when Iraq became in great need For such loans to pay the salaries of his employees is nothing but.
It is true that the foreign and finance ministries moved “a little”To end this file, except that specialists confirm that this file can be resolved through the Central Bank of Iraq, which has remained silent about this file and we have not heard any comment from it, especially since the European Union considers the Central Bank not to adhere to professional standards in dealing with the currency auction that allows money laundering Significantly, as the European Union knows very well that Iraq imports annually about $ 60 billion worth of goods, and knows that the volume of import from Turkey is about $ 19 billion, and from Iran it is about $ 18 billion and much smaller amounts are imported by it from China, Jordan, the Emirates and Saudi Arabia, so The European Union is asking about the rest of the sums that go out of Iraq under the pretext of import, but they disappear in Arab and foreign banks without entering any imported goods, which is considered an indication of money laundering, especially since the Lebanese financial crisis revealed the existence of billions of dollars resulting from the sale of oil. Kurdistan region in the Lebanese banks without knowing itThe federal government in Baghdad!
Putting Iraq on this list will reduce many investment opportunities, especially as investment companies are exposed to multifaceted blackmail by militias that take royalties from companies that the European Union considers unprotected as a result of this blackmail.
It can also be said that placing the European Union in Iraq on this list is not a punishment as much as it is imposing restrictions on financial transfers to and from Iraq, which will disrupt the flow of funds necessary to develop investment within the country! As per the laws of the European Union, banks, other financial companies and tax companies are obligated to have more careful scrutiny towards their customers who have dealings with the countries on the list, and as a result of Iraq’s inclusion in the list, banks and other entities covered by the EU’s anti-money laundering rules will have to apply Increased checks on financial operations that include customers and financial institutions from these “high-risk” countries in order to identify any “suspicious” financial flows.
Placing Iraq on this list will seriously damage its financial and political reputation, as it will affect its current credit rating from B- to C- or C + or other lower ratings and this will entail significant costs, as it will be difficult for Iraq to obtain credit or international loans or From international institutions granting concessional terms.
Also, according to this European decision, the conditions will be harsh for the loan requested by Iraq and approved by Parliament from international institutions, and it is expected that the interest rates and guarantees required will increase and the grace period for repayment will be reduced, as it will be difficult for Iraq to schedule its debts, all of these matters will result from a lowering of the credit rating.
We say that the Iraqi Foreign Minister’s appeals to his German counterpart to make efforts and remove Iraq from this list will not help, as the European Union has for years been Iraq is the largest country that laundered money abroad, and money laundering operations that have been carried out during the past years can be estimated between 250 to 350 billion Almost dollars, and this rounding in numbers is due to the lack of information or transparency.
Iraq must take effective and positive steps if it wants to get out of this list. First, it must take effective measures towards combating the money laundering and terrorist financing process and demonstrate its restriction to the militias they are talking about and neutralize its activity, as the Foreign Ministry’s “objections” will not produce a result, unless The currency auction, which is the largest window for smuggling and money laundering, stops.
And if Iraq wants to get out of this list, we can say that there are specific requirements and fixed standards, which Iraq is required to abide by to get it out of this list, there are periodic legal issues by the European Union that clarify these standards and requirements and this matter requires Iraq to allocate professional and specialized people to follow This matter and communication with the legal and financial authorities in the European Union and their dialogue in detail to identify these requirements and raise Iraqi standards in the financial and legal aspects in order for Iraq to come out of this list.
Prior to that, and as a gesture of goodwill on Iraq, stopping the currency auction and neutralizing the work of the militias that threaten and blackmail investors, and work in all transparency with its financial dealings with the countries of the world. Thus, only Iraq can get out of this list. Will Iraq be able to do that?