Iran has $5 billion from exports of gas and electricity piled in a bank account at the central bank of Iraq but cannot transfer it.
On 29 January 2020, spokesperson of Iranian Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Products Exporters’ Association (OPEX) Hamid Hosseini said that Tehran cannot access its $5 billion in Iraq or transfer it due to American sanctions.
Iraq relies on Iran for trade and natural gas that generates as much as 45% of its electricity. While the Iranian gas and electricity have continued to flow, with repeated exemptions for Iraq to keep trade with Tehran, Iranian revenues have accumulated in bank accounts in Iraq.
Iranians and Iraqis have not yet figured out a way to transfer the money because Iran has been cut off from the global payments network SWIFT since 2012.