Iraq to release $125m frozen Iranian funds for vaccines

Iraq to release $125m of frozen funds to Iran for vaccine purchase: minister
1 min read
29 May, 2021
Iraq agreed to transfer the money to Iran via a European bank, according to state media.
Iran says it will use the funds to pay for vaccine doses [Getty]

Iran is set to receive $125 million in previously-frozen funds from Iraq to cover a purchase of 16 million Covid-19 vaccine doses, Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian was quoted by state media as saying on Saturday.

Iraq agreed to transfer the money to Iran via a European bank, according to an IRNA news agency report.

Ardakanian said Tehran will purchase the vaccines from the World Health Organization's (WHO) COVAX vaccine-sharing programme. 

Iraq has yet to publicly confirm the transfer of funds.

Due to US sanctions in force since 2018, billions of dollars in Iranian funds have been frozen in banks around the world. In recent talks with world powers in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear accord, Tehran has demanded that $20 billion in frozen oil revenues be released. 

Iran is battling the Middle East's deadliest outbreak of the coronavirus, including a "fourth wave" blamed by officials on a surge in trips in March during Persian New Year holidays.