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Trade Bank of Iraq Denies Payments to Syria for Fuel

Iraq isn’t selling fuel oil to Syria, its deputy prime minister for energy affairs said after state-owned Trade Bank of Iraq also denied receiving payments for such supplies.

“We are not making such export shipments to Syria or any other place,” the minister, Hussain al-Shahristani told reporters in Baghdad today.

Trade Bank of Iraq Chairwoman Hamdiyah Al-Jaff said in an e-mailed statement that the bank “has not conducted such transaction(s).”

The Financial Times reported yesterday that the Iraqi government was sending fuel oil to Syria in monthly shipments through the Trade Bank of Iraq. The sales didn’t violate U.S. and European Union sanctions, the newspaper said, citing commercial documents.

Baghdad-based Trade Bank was formed in 2003 as an independent state-owned lender with paid capital of $100 million that has since increased to $850 million from retained profit, according to the statement. “The bank is committed to operate in accordance with international laws and regulations,” it said in the release.

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